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Douglas Ross defends plan to remain MP and MSP after shock election announcement

By Lewis McBlane

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AFTER revealing he will stand at the General Election, Douglas Ross has defended his decision to continue sitting in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

He will likely now be the Conservative candidate for the new Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency which runs from Keith to Cruden Bay.

The news came despite local party members having previously backed incumbent Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.

Until recently, Highlands and Islands MSP Mr Ross was Moray’s MP, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party and a part-time assistant referee at top-flight football matches.

The Moray politician, who donates his MSP salary to charity, previously said he would not seek re-election in 2024.

However, during a press conference this morning, Mr Ross argued he had already proved he could balance the demands.

Asked whether he would resign from the Scottish Parliament if elected as MP for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, he confirmed he would sit in Holyrood and Westminster if elected.

After praising Mr Duguid’s good work in the constituency, he said: “I'm absolutely committed to continuing the role that I've held as MP, MSP and party leader.

“I've done that for three years.

“I didn't expect to continue doing it, but given the circumstances I think I've been able to prove that I can both represent an area in the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament.

“I think it's been helpful and useful at times to be able to do that and I will continue to do that.

“I think we can have a very good election.”

Questioned if standing as an MP showed he has lost interest in the Scottish Parliament and expects to lose the next Holyrood election, Mr Ross replied: “No, absolutely not.”

The Scottish Conservative leader was also quizzed on whether he would continue working as an assistant referee while sitting in both parliaments.

In response, he neither confirmed nor denied whether he would continue as a linesman.

“People have criticised me for refereeing in the past,” Mr Ross said.

“It's sometimes a good distraction from politics for 90 minutes on a Saturday and indeed the last game I did was at Peterhead.

“Unfortunately they were unsuccessful in their playoff match against the Spartans that might count against me on the doorstep.”

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