Who is Douglas Ross?

Douglas RossImage source, PA Media
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Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has said he will resign after the general election.

It follows a row over Mr Ross standing as a candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East instead of David Duguid, who has been in hospital and was in effect de-selected.

Douglas Ross has led the Scottish Tories since August 2020 following the surprise resignation of Jackson Carlaw after just six months in the job.

He was an MP at Westminster at the time but not an MSP so for the first nine months of his leadership Ruth Davidson led the party in the Scottish Parliament.

Ross, who is still only 41, was born in Aberdeen and attended Forres Academy before going to the Scottish Agricultural College.

Before his move into politics, he worked as a dairyman at local farms.

He was first elected to Moray Council in 2007, at the age of 24, and became part of the Independent/Conservative administration.

He stood unsuccessfully for the Moray seat at the general elections in 2010 and 2015 but he was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a regional list MSP in 2016.

However, he stood down from Holyrood the following year when he was finally elected to the House of Commons, unseating SNP stalwart Angus Robertson who had held the seat for 16 years.

Despite having opposed Brexit, Douglas Ross was initially seen as an ally of Boris Johnson, and served as a junior Scotland office minister for six months.

But he resigned his ministerial role in early 2020 in protest at Dominic Cummings' refusal to stand down as the PM's adviser, despite breaking Covid lockdown rules.

Two years later, when details of Downing Street parties during lockdown emerged, he called on Boris Johnson to resign - but later reversed that position, arguing he should remain in power as the UK responded to the war in Ukraine.

He returned to Holyrood when he became a list MSP for the Highlands and Islands in 2021.

While serving in both the Scottish and Westminster parliaments, he has donated his Scottish parliamentary salary to charity.

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Douglas Ross has been an official at many top level football fixtures

Away from politics, Ross is also a qualified top-level assistant football referee.

He was one of the officials for the 2015 Scottish Cup Final, assisting Willie Collum, and the 2018 Scottish Cup Final, assisting Kevin Clancy.

He has also been involved in European and International fixtures.

His sideline as a football official has caused some controversy.

He was criticised by both the SNP and Labour for missing a parliamentary debate on Universal Credit in 2017 due to his refereeing commitments.

In August 2020, he apologised for missing a VJ Day event because he had already agreed to officiate at a Scottish Premiership fixture between Kilmarnock and St Johnstone.

Mr Ross referred himself to the Westminster parliamentary watchdog in November 2021 after it emerged he had failed to record his earnings - some £28,000 - as an assistant referee in his registers of interest. He subsequently apologised.

And just this weekend he faced allegations that he used Westminster expenses to travel in his role as a football linesman.

Mr Ross said the expenses were approved by independent parliamentary body IPSA and he would have "no issue" with the expenses being examined for a second time.

In 2015 he married police sergeant Krystle Ross. The couple have two young sons, one born in 2019 and the other in 2021.

Final list of candidates for the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency.

Ian Bailey - Liberal Democrats

Andy Brown - Labour

Jo Hart - Reform UK

Seamus Logan - Scottish National Party

Douglas Ross - Conservative

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