Ruth Davidson has come under fire after joking that Scots aren’t usually invited to plush events for fear they might cause damage or steal items.
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, The Scottish Conservative leader was speaking at an event attended by Prime Minister Theresa May when she told the audience: “I’m delighted we have such spectacular surroundings,”
The Tory MSP added: “Usually they put the Scots in a place where nothing can be broken. Or stolen for that matter!”
The joke from Davidson, whose Scottish Conservative party recently overtook Scottish Labour as the second force at Holyrood, has been savaged on social media. One angry respondent attacked the remark, saying: “What a distasteful comment to make about the people you represent.”
Another accused Davidson of having insulted the whole of Scotland, saying: “This has made me even more furious than @theresa_may saying we have no say in #Brexit. She has insulted EVERYONE in Scotland.”
The Scottish Conservative leader is no stranger to controversy. In 2012 the MSP claimed almost nine out of 10 Scottish households take more from the public purse than they contribute in taxes.
More recently she attracted criticism after describing a lesbian Labour MP as a “short-haired, flat shoes, shovel-faced lesbian”.
Davidson’s controversial joke coincides with news that her party leader, PM Theresa May, is set to trigger Article 50 before March 2017. The move is expected to set in motion a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ that will see the whole of the UK leave the European Union, losing access to the Single Market.
Despite voting overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU, May has insisted there will be no special negotiations on behalf of Scotland. During the campaign for the 2014 independence referendum, Ruth Davidson promised that voting No was the only way to protect Scotland’s EU membership.