A TORY staffer who was set to join Douglas Ross’s new team has been sacked after claims he had worked as a special adviser for Jim Murphy were rubbished by the former Scottish Labour leader.

The now ousted Craig Paterson had been hired by the Scottish Tories to fill one of the roles left by an exodus of employees from Douglas Ross’s team.

The initial hiring had sparked controversy as Paterson had reportedly worked for Murphy – something which the former Scottish Labour chief has denied on Twitter.

He took to the social media platform on Tuesday evening to dispel any notion that he had employed Paterson or that he had even met him.

He wrote: “This story caught my attention. I have never knowingly met this guy let alone employed him in any role, ever.

“A bizarre fantasy from the Scottish Tories.”

Following Murphy’s revelation, it emerged that the Tories have ditched Paterson before he got a chance to take up his new role.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “We will no longer be hiring this person after new information came to light.”

This follows Ross issuing a note to Tory staff that talked up Paterson's credentials. 

It said: “Craig arrives with extensive knowledge of Scottish politics, having once been a key part of Scottish Labour’s operations."

READ MORE: All is not well for Scottish Tories – The REAL Scottish Politics

The news of Murphy's claims comes as a number of employees in Douglas Ross's top backroom team intend to ditch the Scottish Tory leader. 

Ross's chief of staff Jon Novakovic - who has been credited with efforts to expand the Tory support in Scotland - is set to leave his role at the end of October. 

Other top staffers David Bateman, the party's director of communications, and Harley Lothian, head of digital, will depart in two weeks' time - soon after the UK Tory party conference in Brighton.

The duo are set to found a digital communication firm called Peach Partners.