NEW evidence has come to light which appears to prove that Douglas Ross planned a Scottish Tory leadership bid before Jackson Carlaw had even announced his resignation.

Speculation about a Conservative "carve-up" has been rife, although Ruth Davidson told the BBC that Ross only asked for her support after Carlaw's resignation.

The National revealed earlier this week that Davidson and Ross had a secret meeting at the MP's Moray home on July 26, four days before Carlaw resigned.

READ MORE: 'Baroness Porkypie': Ruth Davidson caught out by BBC question

Both Boris Johnson and Michael Gove also visited the new Scottish Tory leader in the week before Carlaw stepped down. 

Now, analysis of Ross's campaign site has revealed that the MP's logo was created hours BEFORE Carlaw announced the end of his tenure as leader.

Digging into the website and logo's metadata, a set of information which provides details of digital elements online, reveals that the Douglas Ross for Leader campaign logo was last edited on Thursday, July 30 at around 3:45pm.

The National: The metadata for Douglas Ross's leadership campaign logoThe metadata for Douglas Ross's leadership campaign logo

Considering the metadata only reveals the last edit and not the original creation time, it is fair to assume that the logo was created even prior to that.

However, Jackson Carlaw did not announce his resignation until around 5pm that same day.

The move came as a shock to many, including Tory MSPs, as he had been taking part in First Minister's Questions less than five hours before.

Talking to the BBC about the surprise resignation, Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne said: "He [Carlaw] was there in parliament this afternoon. We got no warning, there was no conversation, we got a press release saying he was resigning – I’m sorry, he was pushed.”

READ MORE: Revealed: Davidson’s secret visit to Ross contradicts what she said on BBC

Though Ross has denied Ballantyne's claim, this latest revelation will only fuel further speculation that Carlaw was "pushed" out the job, as the Moray MP and his leadership campaign team apparently had prior knowledge of the former leader's plans to step down.

Ross yesterday refused to disclose the details of the meeting he held with Davidson on July 26.

Speaking to the press, Ross said: "I'm sorry it adds to speculation, but it was a private meeting.

"What I have said is that I asked Ruth and she agreed to lead First Minister's Questions for me if I become leader only after Jackson resigned.

"I hope that gives you some reassurance on that point."

The Scottish Conservatives declined to comment.