THE Scottish Tories have been accused of laying out a “barren stall” as they launch their local election campaign.

Douglas Ross will unveil his party’s campaign in Edinburgh alongside Miles Briggs, the Scottish Tories’ local government spokesperson, on Friday.

The Conservatives say they will be fielding more candidates than ever before in a bid to increase their number of councillors in local government across Scotland, despite polls suggesting they may be in for a drubbing.

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Ross said his party wanted to “deliver local action on local issues”, revealing the party’s slogan for the campaign will be: “Your local priorities, not the SNP’s.”

However, the SNP’s council election campaign director, Kelly Parry, said the Conservative’s had “no ambition – just opposition”, and accused them of laying out a “barren stall”.

The Tories did reveal a raft of new policies at their conference in Aberdeen last weekend, including a ban on sex offenders changing their name, establishing a register of domestic abusers, replacing the Curriculum for Excellence, and an “Open the Books” bill. However, these are all policies to be taken to Holyrood, not local authorities.

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Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, said: “This election will be all about your local priorities – investing in schools, repairing roads and building up local services. “Instead of focusing on those key priorities and moving our country forward, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are only ever focused on one priority.

“We need the months and years ahead to be about fixing the issues most important to local people, not chasing the referendum the SNP say they want to hold next year. “In May, it’s a clear choice between Nicola Sturgeon’s candidates and more years of distraction – or Scottish Conservative candidates to deliver local action on local issues.”

Responding, Parry, who is also the SNP’s local government convener, said: “The Scottish Tories have no ambition – just opposition – as they reveal their barren stall for the upcoming election.

“As the cost of living crisis grips the nation, the Tories have made clear that they don’t care about struggling households, failing to introduce a single meaningful measure to ease the burden of soaring bills in this week’s Spring Statement.

“Meanwhile, the SNP Scottish Government announced a bold and ambitious plan that will see 60,000 fewer children in poverty – thanks to measures like increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per child per week.

“Last week, Douglas Ross welcomed Boris Johnson – a man whose government is mired in a sleazy scandal with illegal Downing Street parties and dodgy Covid contracts being given to party donors – to Scotland, which shows exactly where the Scottish Tories priorities are.

“Only the SNP has the positive vision to take Scotland forward in our recovery from the pandemic. A vote for the SNP on 5th May will continue that transformative change to make Scotland an even better place to live.”