An Aberdeenshire Conservative has come under fire for calling for new tourist signs on the Aberdeen bypass – including past his family’s ancestral home.
But the Tories say that the SNP criticism of Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett is to “designed to distract attention from their failure to deliver the AWPR on time.”
Mr Burnett wants markers highlighting the Deeside tourist trail including the Leys Estate at Banchory – and the ancestral home of the Burnett family Crathes Castle.
Banff and Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “This is just the latest in a long line of incidents where Alexander Burnett has used his seat in parliament to lobby for his own businesses and financial interests.
“The fact that he’s done this at all is appalling – but after being repeatedly censured it is simply staggering.
“It’s time for Ruth Davidson to rein in the self-interested gentry on her benches and tell them to represent their constituents, not their landed estates.”
But a Tory source said that Mr Burnett made the suggestion based on a letter received from a constituent, and that Visit Aberdeenshire had encouraged MSPs to think about ways to promote tourism.
A party spokesman said: “As one of the largest contributors to the local economy – providing millions of pounds per year – it is only right that Mr Burnett seeks to advance this industry which many business and residents rely on for their livelihoods.
“This is a cheap smear from the SNP, simply designed to distract attention from their failure to deliver the AWPR on time.”