Douglas Ross to resign as Scottish Tory leader after election

Douglas Ross

On 4th July, Douglas Ross made a public announcement regarding his resignation as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives. This decision was taken due to the mounting pressure he faced within the party for holding several positions simultaneously and for allegations of making improper expenses claims.

Ross made an unexpected announcement on Monday morning, revealing that if he were to win the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency in the upcoming Westminster election, he would also resign as an MSP at Holyrood.

He has been continuously criticized for working as a Member of Parliament in Westminster and Member of Scottish Parliament in the north-east of the country at the same time, as well as holding a part-time position as a match official for the Scottish Football Association. His political opponents often mock him by referring to his "three jobs."

There was a lot of disagreement and unhappiness among his colleagues in the party, and it all came to a head last week. Ross declared his intention to run for Westminster again, but this caused a problem because the Scottish National party had initially chosen someone else for the target seat. Unfortunately, the other candidate had suffered a spinal injury, so they were unable to participate in the race.

Ross announced that he would take charge of the situation by "leading from the forefront" since David Duguid, who was predicted to run in that area, was facing "grave health problems."

Duguid declared that he was in good enough health to participate in the election. He expressed disappointment with the party's management board for not visiting him or obtaining a medical opinion before making their decision.

According to the board, they are responsible for ensuring the well-being of their applicants. Ross argued that this was not a form of insurance for his forthcoming professional pursuits.

The choice to remove Duguid from his position and replace him with Ross caused anger among community party supporters. The opposition in Holyrood labeled it as cheap and an act of disloyalty.

On Monday morning, Ross made a statement saying that he had been an MP, MSP and leader for more than three years. He thought he could continue if he was re-elected to Westminster, but now he realizes that is not possible.

He stated: "Our political group has an opportunity to surpass the SNP in important constituencies throughout Scotland, such as Aberdeenshire North and Moray East. It is vital that we unite and concentrate all our efforts on achieving this goal."

At the same time, the SNP is requesting that Ross provides a statement directly to the Holyrood regarding his expenses. This comes after the Sunday Mail received information from a Conservative insider alleging that Ross had made 28 expense claims in relation to his job as a football referee.

Ross stated that Ipsa, an autonomous parliamentary organization, endorsed the expenses, and he would not object to having the expenditures scrutinized again.

Prior to Ross's declaration of resignation, SNP campaign director Stewart Hosie urged the Tory leader to provide a prompt statement to the Scottish parliament on Monday, while the leader of the SNP, John Swinney, stated that the allegations could indicate the improper use of public funds.

In reaction to the news, Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour's second-in-command, expressed her best wishes for Ross's future endeavors. However, she also remarked that voters are aware that the current Conservative government has nothing beneficial to offer Scotland. Baillie attributed the Scottish Tories' floundering campaign to this fact and stated that it's not surprising that Douglas Ross has thrown in the towel on trying to revitalize it.

Seamus Logan, the SNP representative for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, has urged Ross to step down as an MSP without delay. Logan believes that Ross's inappropriate conduct towards David Duguid and the rising expenses scandal have led to his forced resignation as Scottish Tory leader. Logan is of the opinion that voters should have a committed MSP who is not ambiguous about their intentions in case of an electoral loss.

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