A SCOTTISH Tory councillor has resigned after his party "showed a lack of leadership" in supporting the fitness industry.

Tony Curtis, who has served on Glasgow City Council since 2017, told the Daily Record his party had and failed to stand up to the Scottish Government on the issue of when gyms could reopen following months of lockdown.

Fitness businesses in Northern Ireland have reopened and gyms in England followed last week but the Scottish Government has said gyms will have to stay closed for now to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Businesses including indoor gyms, theatres, non-essential offices, call centres and bingo halls are among those due to be considered for reopening as part of the Phase 3 plan.

Curtis, who owns the Omnifunctional gym in Glasgow, said he had "spent thousands of pounds" changing his business for Covid-19.

But he was disappointed by the response of senior Scottish Tories when he contacted them about the issue.

"Boris Johnson has acknowledged that obesity plays a huge role in the death rate from Covid-19 and knows the importance of opening gyms in England," he said.

"Yet Nicola Sturgeon seems hell-bent on stigmatising our industry by assuming that we are not professional enough to look after the health and well being of our gym-goers.

"I am staggered that pubs and restaurants have been allowed to reopen yet we are to remain closed indefinitely."

He continued:  "The biggest issue I have at the moment though is my own party’s lack of leadership on this.

"I have contacted MSPs and the council group leader to challenge Jackson Carlaw on his lack of effort on this issue and I have had nothing back from the party.

"That’s why I have chosen to resign from the Scottish Conservatives.

"I got involved with this party in order to stand up against the SNP on important issues that affect businesses and the health of our country, yet our leadership choose not to act proactively in the interests of sectors that are underrepresented.

"We need to get gyms back open and running again, for the sake of the nation's physical and mental health, and for business survival and employment. 

"If my own party won’t take interest in challenging the Scottish Government on this issue, then I can no longer represent them."

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "We wish Tony all the very best in the future."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: "Being active is good for physical and mental health and we know that many people have been missing going to the gym.

"We don’t want these restrictions to be in place a minute longer than we judge to be necessary but, for now, indoor gyms must remain closed as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chance of infection spreading.

“We’d like to thank gym owners and their members for their patience at this challenging time.”