Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives have come under pressure to withdraw an official press release attacking an SNP MSP after it emerged the allegations it contained were false.
A row has erupted after Scottish Conservative MSP Jackson Carlaw accused Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf of never having set foot on a train.
The press statement, which described Mr Yousaf as a ‘train-dodging transport minister’, said:
“Newly-published MSP expenses have revealed under-fire transport minister Humza Yousaf hasn’t claimed for taking the train since parliament returned in May.”
The press release contained a statement from Carlaw, who said: “When Humza Yousaf said he wasn’t a transport expert, we didn’t think this meant he’d never set foot on a train.
“It’s all very well posing prettily while hanging off the side of a train to get himself through a news cycle.
“But the public want a transport minister who actually knows what it’s like to use Scotland’s railways.
“Commuters will be furious that the train network is deemed good enough for them, but not seemingly good enough for the man in charge.”
However it has now emerged that the SNP MSP uses the train as his main mode of transport when traveling to the Scottish Parliament. The Tory blunder is believed to have resulted from the misunderstanding of expenses claims. Expenses logs for Scottish Government Ministers do not contain claims for train travel.
The blunder has witnessed both Mr Carlaw and his party colleague Murdo Fraser both deleting tweets which targeted Mr Yousaf.
Despite calls for the offending press release to be withdrawn it is, at the time of publication of this article, still available on the Scottish Conservative website.
Mr Carlaw is believed to have apologised privately to Mr Yousaf, however there is as yet no sign of any official public apology having been issued on behalf of his party.