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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
07 June 2024
David Duguid refutes claims he is unable to stand at the general election

David Duguid | Credit: UK Parliament

David Duguid refutes claims he is unable to stand at the general election

David Duguid has said that claims that he is unable to stand at the general election are “simply incorrect”.  

Yesterday, Douglas Ross called members of the media to a press conference in Edinburgh where he announced he had taken a last-minute decision to stand for the new Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency, in place of Duguid because of recent ill health.  

The decision to deny the former parliamentary under-secretary to stand was taken by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Management Board. 

As of 11 April, Duguid has been in hospital receiving treatment for a spinal illness. He spent four weeks in an intensive care unit in Aberdeen and has since been transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.    

However, in a statement posted to social media today, Duguid described claims that he is “unable to stand” as a “factual inaccuracy” and said he was “very much looking forward to campaigning”.  

He went on to say the management board, of which Ross sits but has not been part of decision-making since the general election was called, had not visited him in hospital.  

Duguid said: “They apparently took this decision based on two visits from the party director and without receiving any professional medical prognosis. 

“Needless to say, I am very saddened by the way the whole episode has unfolded, and it would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise. But the process to adopt Douglas Ross to replace me as the candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East is now well underway.” 

Yesterday, in response to being asked whether the move to run in Duguid’s place was a stitch-up, Ross told members of the press that he “just wants to make sure that David gets better”.   

He also confirmed he will stay on as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives and as MSP, and if elected next, he would serve the full parliamentary term.  

The move has been described by the SNP’s campaign director Stewart Hosie as “a day of shame for the Tories” and said the way Duguid has been treated is “indefensible”. 

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie accused Ross of treating constituents “with contempt” and described the treatment of Duguid as “shoddy”. 

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