DOUGLAS Ross has been urged to apologise after a Tory councillor vowed to “fiercely oppose” a permanent Traveller site in Inverclyde.

Councillor David Wilson, the Tory representative for Inverclyde East and Depute Provost, said that he wasn’t being “discriminatory” about Travellers, despite accusing them of “unhygienic disposal of human waste”.

Wilson, speaking in the Greenock Telegraph, made the comments as councillors were due to be presented with a briefing paper on the provision for Travellers in the area.

Inverclyde Alba councillor Chris McEleny has called on Scottish Tory leader Ross to apologise on behalf of his party and pledge support for the Traveller community after the comments emeged.

In 2013, plans for a permanent site for Travellers in Inverclyde were thrown out after the location chosen was not deemed appropriate.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross says Traveller comment has 'come back to haunt' him

Councillor Wilson, in the Greenock Telegraph, said: “In my 15 years as a councillor, Gypsy Travellers have left a thoroughly bad impression of their lifestyle. Illegal Gypsy Traveller sites have been characterised by illegal dumping of garden and commercial waste and the unhygienic disposal of human waste.

“I don’t think that would be good for the area.”

Asked by the Greenock Telegraph if his stance was discriminatory, Wilson said: “I don’t think I am being discriminatory. If people want to live in a society you have to abide by the rules and standards of that society.”

Ross has previously come under fire for comments he made in relation to Travellers. Shortly after he was elected as an MP for Moray in 2017, Ross was asked in a quick-fire Q&A what he would do if he was prime minister for the day. He replied: “I would like to see tougher enforcement against Gypsy Travellers.”

Emails between Ross and Moray council chiefs in April last year revealed that he wanted Moray council to evict a Traveller family from their “very visible” site.

The correspondence, released under Freedom of Information, showed that Ross complained to the council that the site seemed to be “getting bigger” and asked Moray Council’s chief executive about plans to “remove the Travellers”.

​READ MORE: Douglas Ross tried to get Traveller family evicted as site was 'very visible'

The emails were heavily criticised by human rights campaigners, with the European Roma Rights group accusing Ross of having a “vendetta” against the community.

Ross has now been challenged to apologise and support the establishment of a permanent site for the Travellers in Inverclyde. McEleny said: “This ‘vow to battle’ any plans of the council to provide facilities for members of the Gypsy Traveller population has already been described by members of the community as a hateful act that should be condemned by politicians.”

The Scottish Conservatives were contacted for comment.