BARONESS Ruth Davidson has hit out at her party for their handling of the first few days of the General Election campaign, warning that candidates "deserve better".

The former Scottish Tory leader spoke out after a series of poorly planned press appearances, including a speech drowned out by a New Labour song and heavy rain, plus a widely-mocked trip to the Titanic Quarter.

Speaking to journalists on the flight from Belfast, Sunak said he was “up for the fight” despite the difficult start to the campaign.

READ MORE: General Election: Labour 'demand' SNP cut from TV debates

He said: “I love doing this. I’ve been doing it since the beginning of the year, I’ve been out and about pretty much two, three days a week since the beginning of the year and I love it.

“I love talking to people, I love having the debate, I love having the Q&A with people, answering their questions, making sure they know what I’m about and I’m really confident that over the next few weeks we’re going to have a really good conversation as a country about the future we want.”

His campaign stop in Belfast on Friday saw Sunak visit an advanced maritime manufacturing facility in the Titanic Quarter, which led to some unfortunate comparisons being drawn with his party’s fortunes.

The National:

“Are you captaining a sinking ship going into this election?” a Belfast Live reporter asked him.

The Prime Minister replied by repeating his mantra that “our plan is working”.

But former Scottish Tory leader Davidson was not impressed, tweeting: “The deluge launch drowned out by D:Ream.

“A brewery visit with a teetotal PM, so no chance of a piss-up.

“Now a site visit to something famous for sinking.

“Is there a double agent in CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters), and were they a headline writer in a previous life?

“Our candidates deserve better.”

READ MORE: Keir Starmer ends silence on ICC arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu

On the plane, Sunak would not be drawn on the contents of the Conservative manifesto, including whether or not his flagship smoking ban would be in it.

Prospects for passing the ban before the election collapsed on Friday, with the bill not appearing in Parliament’s final “wash-up” sessions before it is prorogued and then dissolved.

The Prime Minister said he was “disappointed” that he had been unable to pass the ban that would see the smoking age increase by a year every year but remained fully committed to the policy.

He also declined to comment on whether the manifesto would include a commitment to leave the European Convention on Human Rights – seen by some as a potential stumbling block to his Rwanda policy – or whether there would be specific tax cuts.

Sunak said: “I will give you exactly the same answer to any question about the manifesto and that is wait for the manifesto.”