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Journalist hit by acid attack joins Scottish Tories as top spin chief

Douglas RossAn investigative journalist almost blinded by an acid attack has left the industry to become the Scottish Conservatives’ top spin doctor.

Russell Findlay has been appointed director of communications for the Tories in Scotland ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections.

The former Sunday Mail reporter will lead an expanded communications and policy team that also includes former MP Kirstene Hair, who lost her Angus seat at last year’s general election.

Russell, who began his career at The Glaswegian in 1993, was attacked at his home by William Burns two days before Christmas 2015 while his 10-year-old daughter slept upstairs.

Burns is now serving 10 years and five years on licence after being found guilty in July 2017 of assault to severe injury and danger of life following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

In a statement, Russell said: “After 27 years in newspaper and broadcast journalism, I am delighted to be taking up this post with the Scottish Conservatives.

“It is a privilege to be joining [Scottish Tory leader] Douglas Ross and as he leads the party into next year’s crucial Holyrood election.”

Mr Ross, pictured, said: “Russell has a huge breadth of experience across Scottish media and there are very few other journalists with his investigate instincts.

“I’m thrilled to have him on-board and I’m sure he will prove to be a huge asset to the party.

“Russell will head up an expanded, well-rounded Scottish Conservative team with the press and policy expertise to lead us into the election campaign firing on all cylinders.”