REPRESENTATIVES from the hyper-Unionist Alliance for Unity have highlighted how one of the Scottish Conservatives’ newest policies was seemingly lifted directly from their Holyrood election campaign.

As the Scottish Tories kicked off their conference in Aberdeen on Friday, they also announced new policies to try and reverse the party’s ailing fortunes north of the Border.

One of these was the “Open the Books bill”, which party leader Douglas Ross said would “strengthen financial transparency and government accountability”.

“There is a pressing need to open the books,” he added.

READ MORE: Tories would suffer huge losses and fall behind Labour in new Holyrood vote, poll finds

However, that precise slogan was widely used by George Galloway’s Alliance for Unity (A4U) fringe party, which failed to return a single MSP.

David Griffiths, a former A4U candidate who made headlines after sharing posts calling the First Minister a "fascist dictator", was one of the party’s representatives to point out the similarities.

He wrote: “Great idea. It was an equally good idea when @Alliance4Unity used ‘Open the books’ as our campaign slogan in the 2021 Holyrood election.

“If you need any more policy ideas, @Douglas4Moray, just get in touch with anyone from A4U.”

Writing to Scottish Tory chief whip Stephen Kerr, he claimed the Scottish Conservatives had "stolen A4U's 2021 flagship election policy and presented it as a new idea".

"No need to thank me,” he added.

Griffiths is now involved with the Scottish Unionist Party (the SUP), which also publicly accused the Tories of stealing their policy.

It wrote on Twitter: “That will be the SUP policy of having a National Audit to open the books. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

Elsewhere, the Tories were accused of “rank hypocrisy” for calling for transparency of finances despite their own party’s involvement with “dark money” funds.

In one such case reported by The National, almost £100,000 was donated to the party through the shadowy Scottish Unionist Association Trust in a single year.

SNP MSP Audrey Nicoll said: “The rank hypocrisy of the Tories preaching about open finances is simply staggering.

“Their government has presided over the rampant cronyism of handing out Covid contracts to their friends, family and party donors, the murky issue of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street refurbishment, the endless flow of dirty Russian cash into their party coffers and stuffing the House of Lords with the likes of [Evgeny] Lebedev.

READ MORE: UK minister rages after being confronted over Tory links to Russian oligarchs

“The Tories ‘one rule for them and another for everyone else’ does not wash with the people of Scotland, who refuse to overlook dodgy Tory finances or forgive their partying Prime Minister - even if Douglas Ross is happy to.”

The final reference was to Ross’s decision to U-turn on calls for Boris Johnson to step down, insisting that the Prime Minister he said could not lead the UK in January is now the best man to lead during wartime.

The Tories’ “Open the Books bill” would require the Scottish Government to publish a quarterly update of the Budget, require the Scottish Government to publish monthly data on the uptake and payouts from each fund it operates, and require the Scottish Government to publish a value-for-money statement ahead of taking ownership of any private enterprise.

A4U fell apart earlier this month over disagreements around the Ukraine invasion.

The Scottish Tories have been approached for comment.