THE SNP has accused Ruth Davidson of a “discrepancy” over claims she made about checking her £50,000 a year lobbying job with Holyrood standards watchdogs.

Widespread outrage at the appointment forced the former Scottish Tory leader to quit the lucrative second job with Tulchan Communications before she’d started in the role.

In a statement released on October 29, Davidson said she would not take up the position as senior adviser as the “consensus” from “political opponents and commentators” was that it was “somehow incompatible” with her role as an MSP.

She then insisted she had checked with Holyrood officials regarding potential conflict of interests before agreeing to take the job.

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Davidson said: “I sat down with Scottish parliamentary officials in advance to go through the code of conduct, in detail, in order to avoid any conflict and to ensure I would be working within the rules at all times.”

However, in an email exchange with the pParliament’s Standards Clerks, seen by The National, Davidson says she only had a conversation in “broad terms” and only then about Kirkholm Broadlands Ltd, the consultancy she established with her partner Jen Wilson on October 14, and not the position with Tulchan.

In the email, sent on October 24, at the height of row, Davidson asks the officials for advice, saying: “I sat down with a member of the standards team before recess to describe, in broad terms, the fact I was setting up a consultancy with my partner and would, in time, bring in some work.

“They talked me through the disclosure requirements and sections of the code of conduct that would apply.”

The SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said “in detail” and “broad terms” were not the same thing.

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He said: “There’s a clear discrepancy here in Ruth Davidson’s version of events. In the interests of transparency, the public will expect answers.

“If she is to claw back any respect at all, Ruth Davidson must come clean and publish all material and advice she has received regarding her second job.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Ruth did talk about these issues at length, however much the SNP wishes that wasn’t the case.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament commented: “As a matter of standard practice we don’t comment on discussions with, or advice given to members.”

The announcement of her second job caused widespread disapproval, with the director of PR professional membership body the PRCA, Francis Ingham, saying it was “simply wrong for lobbying agencies to employ legislators”.

Had she taken the job she would have been paid £50,000 for 25 days’ work a year on top of her MSP salary of £63,579.

In her statement Davidson said: “The debate in Scotland about my taking an advisory role with Tulchan Communications has become increasingly contentious.

The National:

“I, and Tulchan, have therefore agreed not to proceed with the appointment.”

She added: “I saw this role as an opportunity to help businesses improve their offerings to staff, raise standards in the supply chain, increase diversity and embrace environmental responsibilities.

“I sat down with Scottish Parliamentary officials in advance to go through the code of conduct, in detail, in order to avoid any conflict and to ensure I would be working within the rules at all times. The role reflected this.

“The consensus view from political opponents and commentators is that working to improve businesses’ understanding of the cares and concerns of people is somehow incompatible with my role as an MSP.

“So if I am asked to choose between Holyrood and this role, then I choose the Parliament I have dedicated the last nine years to, eight as party leader, a decision Tulchan supports.”

She said Tulchan Communications had behaved with “utmost integrity” and she is “sorry not to be working with them at this time”.