RUTH Davidson has come under fire after a picture on social media showed her apparently campaigning for a council candidate who previously called for refugees to be shut out of Scotland.

The former Scottish Tory leader published a picture on Twitter showing her on the local election campaign trail.

In the photo, Davidson is seen holding flyers, with one being for East Lothian candidate Judy Lockhart-Hunter, who was criticised for her "#WeHaveNoRoom in Scotland" petition.

Replying to Davidson's post, SNP media officer and candidate for Burntisland, Kinghorn & Western Kirkcaldy, Olaf Stando claimed the Tories have become increasingly like Ukip.

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He said: “The candidate that Baroness Ruth Davidson was just campaigning for wants to 'shut refugees out of Scotland'.

“She wrote a petition in 2015 comparing refugees to terrorists.

“The Scottish Tories have become UKIP-ised. Let’s shut them out of councils this Thursday.”

Stando then pointed to a National article which revealed how a former Ukip chair was chosen to stand for the Scottish Tories in the 2022 council elections.

He said: “And speaking of UKIP, the Scottish Tories are fielding a candidate in Stirling who is ... a former chairman of UKIP.

“Thankfully Ukip has always been on the far fringes of Scottish politics - but it shows just how out of touch the Scottish Tories are.

“Refugees can vote in elections in Scotland - including the council elections this Thursday.

“This is what a compassionate, inclusive society looks like - a Scotland of Kenmure St, not Downing St. Say it loud, say it clear: Refugees are welcome here.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton also criticised the Tory candidate. He said: "These are terrible comments to have made about people fleeing for their lives.

"Scotland is a kind and welcoming country, and I am sure that the people of North Berwick will push back against this divisive nonsense.”

The National previously revealed that Lockhart-Hunter, who is standing in the North Berwick Coastal ward of East Lothian, launched a petition saying Syrian refugees should not be welcomed into the UK.

The National: The image used in Lockhart-Hunter's petitionThe image used in Lockhart-Hunter's petition

The controversial poll, entitled "#WeHaveNoRoom in Scotland", was started in 2015 during the Syrian refugee crisis.

The petition, intended for former prime minister David Cameron, displayed a large image of a Union flag with the slogan “Veterans Before Migrants” and a blurb stating how refugees “would be far better placed going to another Islamic country where they can fit in easier”.

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It also speculated that some refugees could be dangerous, as Lockhart-Hunter suggested Daesh intended to send soldiers to the west posing as asylum seekers. She insisted the UK should be “safeguarding government money for those who pay into the system”.

Davidson has been an increasingly visible figure in the Scottish Tories’ council election campaign, with polls set to open this Thursday.

It comes as a recent Panelbase poll showed Labour pushing the Tories into third place.

The survey put the SNP in a comfortable lead with 42% of the vote, with Labour and the Tories receiving 24% and 21% respectively.

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: “As we previously said, the candidate unreservedly apologised for these posts and we accepted that apology."