A TORY council candidate has been mocked by the SNP for an “embarrassing gaffe” after he appeared to have criticised his own party in an election leaflet.

Voters in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan are set to go to the polls on March 16 to elect a representative to Stirling Council, following the sad passing of long-serving SNP councillor Graham Houston in December last year.

And just 48 hours before the ballot box opens, Tory candidate Robin Kleinman has been accused of criticising his own party on an election leaflet.

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The campaign literature makes a number of scathing claims regarding Stirling Council, a Labour administration propped up by Tory councillors.

Stirling Council’s current Provost is Tory councillor Douglas Dodds, who was installed following the deal between the Unionist parties. At the first council meeting following the 2022 local authority elections, Dodds admitted he was not the “popular” choice for the senior council role.

The SNP returned the largest number of councillors, eight, while the Tories won seven seats, and Labour six.

The National: The SNP mocked the criticism of Stirling Council in the Tories election campaign literatureThe SNP mocked the criticism of Stirling Council in the Tories election campaign literature (Image: Supplied)

Kleinman’s election leaflet contained numerous explosive claims against the administration currently propped up by his own party.

He said that the council “fails to meet the expectations of the community” and “move very slowly to solve problems”, adding that they don’t “often get it right”.

Kleinman also said adverse weather always catches Stirling Council “off guard” and that their response is “frustrating”.

Another sentence on the pamphlet reads: “Stirling Council slow to complete road works.”

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Kleinman faced further leaflet trouble after allegations that it was his partner Linn who was caught on CCTV removing other party's campaign leaflets from a private close.

Ahsan Khan, the SNP’s candidate for the Dunblane and Bridge of Allan ward, said: “This embarrassing gaffe shows one hand of the Tory party doesn’t know what the other is doing.

“The Conservatives are propping up Stirling Council’s Labour administration - and have been happy to take the paid position of Provost in return.

"Any suggestion that this is a surprise to Mr Kleinman shows just how detached from the issues he really is.

“This grubby coalition of Labour and Tory councillors has run down local services since taking control of Stirling Council, and shamefully voted against SNP plans to feed high school pupils over the festive holidays.

“While the Tories tear strips from each other, I’ll continue to campaign for better public transport, improved housing and protecting local green spaces for the people of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.”

The Scottish Conservatives have been contacted for comment.

It comes after Scottish Tory MSPs called out Stirling Council after the authority’s official Twitter account liked a post with the hashtag “Never Trust a Tory”.

Roz McCall, a Tory who became an MSP in September without having to stand for election as she replaced Dean Lockhart, hit out at the council after spotting it had liked a post from SNP councillor Gerry McLaughlan.