Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Douglas Ross launches bid to be Scottish Conservatives leader after resignation of Jackson Carlaw

© Peter Jolly/Shutterstock Douglas Ross
Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross has announced his intention to stand in the Scottish Conservatives’ leadership contest.

It follows Thursday’s shock resignation of Jackson Carlaw, who said that he believed that a new leader would be able to “make the case for the Scottish Conservatives and the Union better than me”.

Announcing his bid on Friday morning, Mr Ross said: “This is a crucial time in Scottish politics.

“We are months away from an important election, and need strong, decisive leadership of our party to take on and defeat the SNP in seats right across the country.”

If successful, he will seek election as an MSP in the May Holyrood elections, with former leader Ruth Davidson agreeing to stand-in at First Minister’s Questions until then.

Mr Ross became MP for Moray in 2017, taking the constituency from then SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson – another who may be standing in May’s Holyrood election.

He was briefly an MSP, winning a regional list seat for the Highlands and Islands in 2016 prior to moving to Westminster.

He backed Remain in the 2016 referendum, but now backs Boris Johnson to deliver Brexit.

© Daniel Leal-Olivas/AP/Shutterstock
Douglas Ross on the election campaign trail with Boris Johnson last year

Mr Ross is also a qualified football referee, and has had a long career as a linesman in Scottish games as well as international fixtures.

His time spent in that role led to criticism that he was missing committee meetings and votes in parliament, and he later reduced the number of refereeing appointments he was taking.

Conservative MP Douglas Ross running the line at a match between Hibs and Celtic

Mr Ross also came under fire in 2017 for saying that, if he were prime minister for a day, his number one priority would be “tougher enforcement against Gypsy Travellers”.

He apologised, saying he did not have time to provide context in a “quick-fire interview” but insisted it was an issue that should be debated.

Mr Ross was appointed a junior Scotland Office minister following the 2019 election, but quit in May over the Dominic Cummings scandal.

The explanations given by Mr Cummings for travelling during lockdown and the defence mounted by colleagues led to Mr Ross stepping down, saying: “I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior advisor to the government was right”.

As well as the backing of Ruth Davidson, Mr Ross has been supported by Scottish Tory MP John Lamont.

He tweeted: “As his friend, flatmate, occasional running buddy and colleague, there’s no doubt I’ll be backing @Douglas4Moray to be the next leader of @ScotTories

“He certainly has what it takes to lead our party and to stop Nicola Sturgeon and her obsession with Independence. #Douglas4Leader”

Former Tory MP Ross Thomson also took to social media to say: “.@Douglas4Moray
is hugely talented. He’ll bring a new energy to our fight back against the SNP, reinvigorate our campaign to protect Scotland’s place in the UK and reach out to new voters. But most importantly he’s a really good guy. Delighted to support #Douglas4Leader ”

But Labour’s Monica Lennon tweeted: “Leadership? Not a word about COVID-19, that’s killed thousands of people and destroyed the health and livelihoods of many more. Or the poorest who have suffered the most.

“Of course the Tories want a divisive figure like Douglas Ross. They have no interest in healing our nation.”