world : Douglas Ross denies MSP role is 'job insurance'

world : Douglas Ross denies MSP role is 'job insurance'
world : Douglas Ross denies MSP role is 'job insurance'

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:52 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Mr Ross then announced his intention to stand in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East last week, reversing his previous plans to stand down as an MP.

The previous MP had just been in effect deselected by the Scottish Conservative management board, following a period of illness.

Mr Duguid had been in hospital but has since disputed suggestions he is “seriously ill” and had already been adopted as a candidate by local party members.

The seat, recently redrawn as Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, was held under the title of Banff and Buchan by Mr Duguid since 2017.

Announcing his decision to step down as Scottish Conservative leader, Mr Ross said it was "not feasible" for him to continue serving in two parliaments, as well as fulfilling his leadership duties and role as a Scottish football assistant referee.

He said he had spoken to prime minister Rishi Sunak about his decision yesterday.

Mr Ross said he had “listened to the concerns of colleagues” but said he did not feel his decision made it appear Holyrood was “less important” than Westminster.

He insisted he had not been asked to stand down as leader by colleagues at Holyrood and denied giving himself a fall back if his bid to become an MP fails.

“I have listened to concerns from colleagues that they want the leader of the Scottish Conservatives to be based in Holyrood,” he told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland.

“I’m absolutely not saying that [Holyrood is less important than Westminster]. The two parliaments deal with very different things.

“I think the back benches of Holyrood have got a number of former leaders on them and there are ex-leaders of every political party sitting on the back benches at Holyrood, some making more contribution than others and I think I have shown that I will champion local issues.”

Mr Ross is also under pressure over reports by the Sunday Mail that his advisers had raised concerns over a series of travel claims.

The newspaper highlighted 28 travel expense requests for flights between London and Edinburgh and Glasgow and parking at Inverness airport.

Under UK parliamentary rules, MPs can only claim for travel from their home airport. Moray does not have an airport, but Mr Ross could have claimed for flights to Aberdeen or Inverness.

It has been suggested the expenses could be related to Mr Ross' role as an SFA-accredited 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.

An IPSA spokesperson said the body was reviewing complaints, but no investigation had been launched.

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