A SCOTTISH Tory council candidate called Nicola Sturgeon a “dictator” who has been “making up” Covid figures to justify strict restrictions and feed her desire for power, The National can reveal.

Claire Brown, who has been selected to run for the party in Falkirk Council’s Upper Braes ward, attacked the First Minister in a raft of posts on her Twitter account.

She also “liked” a series of posts claiming that spending money on signage in Gaelic is “an utter waste of money” and “cash squandered to make a differentness [sic] that doesn’t exist”.

“There is no justification for spending on a language barely no-one speaks,” another tweet liked by Brown said.

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The Tory candidate has severally cast doubt on the validity of the Covid figures provided by the Scottish Government. In one post written in reply to MSP Stephen Kerr, Brown wrote: “Our FM said another two weeks to analysis [sic] the data more in-depth. That to me is they are making up numbers which they can’t substantiate or provide actual evidence on. This is all down to maintaining power and control.”

In another post addressed to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, Brown wrote: “What you don’t know, you make up! Where is the evidence of statistics and data you are using to exert control and power over the people of this country unnecessarily?”

She also cast doubt on the veracity of official Covid data in a post in which she wrote about Sturgeon’s then-weekly Covid updates, “with the accurate data she discusses ... or not”.

In another post about Covid figures, she wrote: “What are @scotgov hiding? This is no longer about a pandemic – it’s about power, control, and dictatorship.”

On Brown’s social media, Sturgeon’s “ego” and “desire for martyrdom” are cited more than once as the true reasons behind the restrictions brought in to curb the spread of Covid-19. In a post directly addressed to the First Minister and sent more than once, Brown wrote: “I believe many Scots would agree you are a Covid dictator – your ego, power, and draconian measures are what you seem to thrive on.”

She also shared a video of Neil Oliver speaking on GB News in which he claimed “British citizens in Scotland deserve to not be treated as Queen Nicola’s subjects”. After quoting it, Brown added: “@nicolasturgeon is only about her own legacy and remaining in power.”

In another tweet sent out on more than one occasion, Brown wrote: “Our FM is not ready to let go of her need for control and power! Scotland doesn’t need protected from Covid, it needs protected from Nicola Sturgeon.” She also “liked” a post which claimed “extremists” in government were “turning Scotland into the North Korea of Europe”.

In one post on her personal account – while the aforementioned were all from her Tory campaign account – Brown claimed the Scottish Government would be trying to get people “microchipped next”.

“Lies. Deception. Authoritarianism. Control”, she wrote in another post on her personal account.

Asked about the string of comments and liked posts, the Scottish Tories said they would not associate themselves with the idea that the First Minister is a “dictator”, but did not condemn anything beyond that.

They said: “In the context of Covid, we agree with much of what is said in these posts about Nicola Sturgeon wanting to cling onto power.

“In light of Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine, we wouldn’t share the opinion and associate ourselves with the remark of calling the First Minister a dictator.”

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The party did not comment on Brown’s views on the Gaelic language.

Commenting individually, the Tory candidate said she accepted that calling Sturgeon a dictator had been “over the line”, but again did not comment on anything further.

Brown said: “With war raging in Ukraine, I accept that it was inappropriate to call Nicola Sturgeon a dictator, given the barbaric actions of Vladimir Putin. That particular remark went over the line.”

The Upper Braes ward in which Brown is running for Falkirk Council currently has one Tory, one Labour, and one SNP councillor.