Douglas Ross to step down as Scottish Tory leader after general election

Douglas Ross is to step down as Scottish Conservative leader after the general election and will also quit Holyrood if he is elected as an MP.

The Scottish Tory made the announcement in the wake of the row over his decision to stand in the Aberdeen North and Moray East constituency.

Former UK Government minister David Duguid had wanted to fight the seat, but the Scottish Conservative Party management board ruled ill health meant he should not stand, with Mr Ross confirming last week that he would put himself forward for the constituency.

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It comes after Mr Ross, who is also an MSP, had previously vowed he would step down from Westminster to focus on Holyrood and his role as party leader.

Douglas Ross has announced he is quitting as Scottish Tory leader
Douglas Ross has announced he is quitting as Scottish Tory leader

In a statement released on Monday, Mr Ross said: “I am committed to fighting and winning the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency.

“Should I be given the honour to represent the people and communities of this new seat, they should know being their MP would receive my complete focus and attention.

“I will therefore stand down as leader following the election on July 4, once a successor is elected.

“Should I win the seat, I will also stand down as an MSP to make way for another Scottish Conservative representative in Holyrood.”

Mr Ross sparked fury when he announced he intended to run for Westminster after previously planning to concentrate on the Scottish parliament.

His neighbouring Scottish Tory MP David Duguid was ruthlessly deselected by the Scottish Conservative management board at the last minute to make way for Mr Ross in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.

Mr Duguid, who was the MP for Banff and Buchan before the boundary changes, had recently had spinal surgery but was on course to make a full recovery. He had been readopted by his local party and told by doctors that he could campaign as long as he did not go door-knocking.

Mr Ross had said he intended to step back from Westminster politics to focus on his duties at Holyrood.