RUTH Davidson has been accused of sending Scottish tax payers’ money down to London to pay for Tory campaigning.

Edinburgh North and Leith MP Deirdre Brock said details released in the latest batch of MSPs’ expenses showed payments had been made by the Conservative Support Group in Holyrood to the Tory Policy Research Unit (PRU).

On their website the PRU claims to be a “non-profit-making, pooled research facility based in the Houses of Parliament” and they currently provide assistance to about 270 MPs.

The Tories insisted the money was paid to the group to help with research in reserved matters, but the SNP are sceptical, pointing out that both payments had come just before elections. Brock says sending Holyrood money to pay people in the Westminster parliament is a “slap in the face for everyone who fought for a Scottish Parliament”.

Holyrood Tories paid the unit £1,200 in April 2015, and then £3,600 last March before the Scottish Parliament stopped for elections.

“Ruth Davidson paying the Tories in Westminster to send people to Scotland to tell us what to do in elections is shocking. It’s even worse that she used Scotland’s money to do it,” Brock said. “Expenses are supposed to be there to help MSPs serve the people, not so that the Tory branch office can pay its dues to the Tory high command.

“Using Scottish Parliament cash to inflate Tory party coffers at Westminster is a slap in the face for all who fought for the Scottish Parliament.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Tories said: “The payment was approved by the Scottish Parliament’s Allowances Team and was for services of the Westminster research team to assist the Scottish Conservative MSP Group with reserved matters.”

The Scottish Parliament told the National: “The expenses scheme is founded on the principle that parliamentary resources can only be used for parliamentary purposes.”

PRU make their money from Tory MPs who each reportedly pay just under £4,000 a year to the service that provides briefings and research and writes letters to constituents.

The MPs can then claim this money back through expenses.

Recently the PRU was investigated by Parliament’s expenses watchdog over claims they had indirectly used public money to pay for a suite of rooms used in an orgy.

In 2011 PRU booked the penthouse, costing up to £2,500 per night, at Manchester’s Light ApartHotel for the Tory party conference.

According to the Independent, PRU boss Ian Corby advertised the sex-party in the penthouse suite on gay dating app, Grindr. He was later removed from the Tory’s list of approved candidates.

The PRU has also been criticised for its bullying culture and was at the centre of a feud between Corby and then Tory Minister Michael Fabricant.

Fabricant said he had previously told Tory bosses he was concerned about the PRU’s “drinking culture.”

“In 2011, I met with two members of PRU staff, both of whom felt that activities in the PRU at the time fell far below the standards expected of a professional employer,” he said.

“One of them made the case that he is neither gay nor willing to involve himself in a culture of long drinking sessions.

“He believed he was not being treated fairly despite his annual reviews saying his work was outstanding. Others had received modest pay rises while he had not.

“He had even been told in front of a minister that he was a ‘whip’s nark’ or whistleblower. As a consequence he left for a better job. I reported this to the appropriate authorities and that was that.”

New anti-Semitism row as Labour leader’s ally questions Holocaust Day focus