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by Kirsteen Paterson
24 June 2024
David Duguid says he’s not seriously ill after being replaced by Douglas Ross

David Duguid was first elected in 2017

David Duguid says he’s not seriously ill after being replaced by Douglas Ross

Ousted Tory election hopeful David Duguid has said "I am not seriously ill" and his recovery is "exceeding expectations".

The former MP fell ill before the general election was called and planned to stand in the contest before being replaced with Douglas Ross.

Duguid was adopted by local members as their preferred candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East (ANME), having been the MP for its predecessor, Banff and Buchan, since 2017.

The Scottish Conservative leader had said he would not stand in the general election before being announced as the party's choice for ANME, with Duguid's health said to be behind the move.

The shock switch at the start of June triggered criticism of Ross, who has since said he will stand down from the party leadership after the vote.

Duguid had been admitted to hospital for treatment for a spinal illness weeks earlier and Ross said he wanted "to make sure David gets better".

But Duguid denied he was too ill to stand.

The decision to give the candidacy to Ross was taken by the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Management Board. But Duguid has said he had "no direct contact" with any of that board before or after he was ruled out of the race.

And he said he is "not seriously ill" and "no professional medical input" was involved in the board's decision.

In a statement posted on social media, the former Scottish Affairs Committee member announced that his rehabilitation is "exceeding expectations", saying: "Some newspapers continue to report that I have had surgery or am 'seriously ill'. Neither is true.

"I have never had surgery, I am not seriously ill and haven't been since I was moved out of the intensive care unit in Aberdeen and started my rehabilitation in Glasgow in early May."

Duguid said he had only been visited by the director of the Scottish Conservatives, who is not a member of the management board.

He went on: "I am determined and always believed that I would make a full recovery, hence my decision to stand as a candidate for the seat of ANME.

"I had been planning how to run my campaign based on incumbency and with an increasing number of volunteers - even though the actual door-knocking would have had to have been left to them."

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson said: "Representatives of the party management board met twice with David and the party have sought medical assurances throughout this situation.

"We all continue to wish David the very best in his recovery and hope he can return to a frontline role with the Scottish Conservatives in the future."

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