Tories duped

Ross withdraws job offer over aide’s CV claims

Douglas Ross: seeking advice

The Scottish Conservatives have withdrawn the offer of a job to a political adviser over alleged inconsistencies in his CV.

Craig Paterson, who was announced as the Tories’ new head of research, was said to have been a “senior political adviser” to Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader and Secretary of State.

But the appointment was withdrawn after senior Conservatives were informed that Mr Paterson had never worked for Mr Murphy who said that he had “never knowingly met this guy let alone employed him in any role, ever”.

Mr Paterson was interviewed twice by senior MSPs and in an email sent to staff on Friday, Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Craig arrives with extensive knowledge of Scottish politics, having once been a key part of Scottish Labour’s operations.”

A Scottish Conservative source told The Times: “The web of lies concocted by this man is incredible. He embellished a brief period at Labour into his own fairytale.”

It is understood Mr Paterson has denied falsifying any information to his prospective employer.

Mr Ross is in the process of filling a number of vacancies in his backroom team. Jon Novakovic will step down at the end of next month as chief of staff. Rebecca Fraser, who was Mr Ross’s deputy chief of staff, left in June.

List MSP Stephen Kerr, chief whip, has been appointed education spokesman after Oliver Mundell vacated the post for personal reasons. Mr Kerr is replaced by his former deputy, Alexander Burnett.

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