A BITTER battle over the candidacy for an SNP-held Scottish Parliament seat has entered a new chapter as smear dossiers emerged against two challengers.

One document claiming to reveal “dodgy” dealings by former MP Corri Wilson and another titled “The Sins of Osama”, relating to former SNP aide Osama Bhutta, were passed to this newspaper.

It is understood these were sent to SNP members in Cunninghame North, where Kenneth Gibson is aiming to continue his 13 years as MSP.

Both challengers say they have been the target of deliberate smears in contravention of campaign rules.

Wilson’s document focuses on her record on expenses and staffing as MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.

Former Amnesty International official Bhutta says he has been subjected to racism over the contents of the document, which questions

his work with groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain and describes him as an Islamic fundamentalist.

The row emerges just a day before ballots close in the delayed contest and after the challengers refused to take part in a hustings over allegations Gibson had harassed or bullied women members.

Data embedded in the documents, created through Microsoft Word, suggest they were created by Gibson and one of his researchers, and both Bhutta and Wilson have called for party leadership to intervene.

However, Gibson, who denies harassment, said: “Anyone following this contest will know that I’m the only nominee being viciously smeared week after week by people who would kick you in the teeth and then complain of a sore toe.

“They must be getting increasingly desperate, having already sent unfounded allegations into umpteen newspapers, hand delivered defamatory letters to SNP members, trolled and castigated me and my supporters on social media.

Saying any negative information about his opponents “is available to anyone via Google”, he went on: “Selections should be conducted according to the candidates record, commitment and determination to take the party forward to independence.

“Despite extreme provocation, that is what I have done.”

Bhutta, whose cousin is Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, said: “I’ve suffered racism all my life. Usually these days it’s from online trolls. What hurts about this though is that it’s from inside my own party.

“The party has put in a lot of effort over decades to build its reputation as a diverse party which welcomes all, so I know they will want to take tough action against this.”

“Appalled” Wilson said most of the content against her has “been proved inaccurate”, stating: “As a candidate I deserve a fair, open and respectful contest and members of Cunninghame North deserve better than this.”

The SNP was contacted for comment.