Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross to run

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By Creative Media News

  • Douglas Ross to stand in general election
  • Ross replaces David Duguid in Aberdeenshire
  • Ross’s reversal sparks controversy and criticism

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, intends to participate in the forthcoming general election.

Following the party’s decision to de-select David Duguid as the Conservative candidate in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East, Mr Ross made a surprise announcement.

Mr Duguid, ailing, has served as the Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan since 2017.

Mr Ross intended to retire from Westminster during this election to focus on his role as an MSP in anticipation of the 2026 Holyrood election campaign.

He referred to Mr Duguid as a “friend and colleague”. He expressed regret that the party management council had determined he could not continue as the party’s candidate.

In a swiftly organized press conference, Mr Ross stated, “This constituency will be highly competitive, a hard-fought, close contest between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP.” He also stated, “I have determined that I must lead from the front.”

He stated that he would apply for his party’s nomination on Thursday evening, just hours before the 16:00 Friday deadline for potential candidates to submit their applications.

Mr Ross had been an MP since the 2017 general election when he unexpectedly defeated SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson.

He announced his intention to resign as an MP at the subsequent general election shortly after assuming the role of Scottish Conservative leader in August 2020.

Since 2021, he has served as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands.

Mr Ross, who also serves as a football assistant referee, has been referred to as “three jobs” by his adversaries.

While his Holyrood register of interests indicates that he has received over £6,500 this year from the Scottish Football Association for his role as an assistant referee, he donates his MSP salary to charity.

The boundary modifications implemented during this year’s election resulted in the abolition of his former Moray constituency.

Since 2017, Mr Duguid has served as the Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan.

On Wednesday, he expressed his eagerness to participate in the campaign. Still, he was not chosen to represent the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency because he had been “looking forward” to it.

Due to an ailment that affected his spine, he was recently hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for four weeks.

The Scottish Conservatives’ spokesperson stated that the decision was based on health considerations.

Aberdeenshire North and Moray East are the new seat names, which are being expanded to encompass portions of Moray.

The former Moray constituency will be divided into two parts, with Keith and Buckie being absorbed by Aberdeenshire North, Moray East, and Elgin, joining a new Moray West, Nairn, and Strathspey seat.

Mr Ross had been against the “carve up” of the Moray constituency.

Douglas Ross committed not to run for Westminster again. Therefore, why has he reversed course?

The Scottish Conservative leader is employed as both an MP and an MSP. However, he has previously stated that he will not attempt to retain his position as an MP in the upcoming election.

The new boundaries will result in the extinction of his current Westminster seat.

He will contend that these are exceptional circumstances and that it is logical for him to assume the candidate’s role in a winnable seat for the Scottish Tories in the northeast of Scotland, as David Duguid is no longer a candidate.

Nevertheless, Mr Ross may also be considering the long term.

He is presently the leader of the largest opposition party at Holyrood; however, polls indicate that Labour may experience a resurgence.

The Conservatives may fall to third place during the 2026 Scottish Parliament elections, potentially resulting in a shift in leadership.

Mr Ross may have believed that remaining in Westminster would provide him with more political opportunities in the future.

Stewart Hosie, the chief of the Scottish National Party’s campaign, characterized the Scottish Conservatives’ treatment of Mr Duguid as “indefensible.”

After Douglas Ross’s statement, he stated that this is a day of shame for the Tories, as he has three positions and has taken a seat from David Duguid to maintain his third salary at Westminster.

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He further stated, “The party has only become more repulsive.”

Jackie Baillie, the deputy leader of Scottish Labour, accused the Tory leader of a “screeching u-turn.”

She stated, “Douglas Ross is treating his constituents with contempt by refusing to relinquish one of his three jobs, and his shabby treatment of his colleague demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of the Conservative Party.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton characterized Mr Duguid as a “capable parliamentarian” who earns respect from both sides of the political spectrum.

Regarding Douglas’s decision, he stated that it is ultimately up to Douglas and the Conservative Party’s internal operations.

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