THE Scottish Conservatives have intervened in the SNP leadership race, accusing the candidates of “hysterical” attacks on the media.

In response, SNP president Michael Russell said the Tories either have a "short memory or they are hypocrites", pointing to attacks on the media from within their own party.

Scots Tory chairman and MSP Craig Hoy has written to the three contenders – Humza Yousaf, Ash Regan, and Kate Forbes – to say that any attacks from the media on the SNP were “more than justified” given the record of the Scottish Government since the party took power.

He claimed that all three contenders had been “pandering to the worst excesses of anti-media paranoia from within your own party”.

READ MORE: Twelve times the Tories blamed the media for their own failures

The Tory MSP wrote: “I am writing to express concern about the tone of media attacks in the early phase of the leadership election for your party.

“In every single one of the SNP’s leadership hustings so far that have been publicly livestreamed, the audience have deemed it necessary to attack journalists, the media or both.

“Rather than distance yourselves from these attacks, you appear to have encouraged them.

“When a question alleged ‘lies’ ‘antipathy’ and ‘misinformation’ from journalists, Humza Yousaf described it as ‘an excellent question’.

“When asked about her views on certain issues, Kate Forbes blamed ‘journalists’ for asking these questions – despite that being their job.

“After someone in the audience claimed that by agreeing to a television-hustings the SNP were ‘getting into bed with your mortal enemies’ Ash Regan responded ‘I agree with you there and I think that we all know we’ve got a fairly hostile media’.”

Writing on Twitter, Russell said: "Either the Tories have a short memory or they are hypocrites.  

"A quick Google gets hundreds of Tory criticisms of ... the media!"

He shared a report of Liz Truss having "attacked the media several times", accusing the Sun's former political editor turned-Talk TV host Tom Newton-Dunn of framing questions in a "left-wing way".

Hoy further criticised the SNP’s decision – which was partly reversed – not to allow media access to regional hustings events.

The first televised hustings is set for 7pm on STV on Tuesday night.