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Douglas Ross confirmed as new Scottish Conservative leader

Douglas Ross - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

Douglas Ross confirmed as new Scottish Conservative leader

Douglas Ross has been confirmed as the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

The Conservative MP for Moray was the only nominee for the party leadership role by the closing date on Wednesday.

The appointment comes less than a week after the previous leader, Jackson Carlaw, announced he was standing down.

Because Ross is based in Westminster, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will stand in for him at First Minister’s Questions until March, when she will step down as an MSP and take up a place in the House of Lords.

Ross was elected as the MP for Moray in June 2017, beating then SNP depute leader Angus Robertson by 513 votes.

Before that he was an MSP for a year representing the Highlands and Islands region.

Ross was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state for Scotland in the UK Government by Boris Johnson after the December 2019 election, but resigned in May in protest at the PM’s adviser, Dominic Cummings, breaking lockdown rules.

Commenting on his appointment, Ross said: “Becoming leader of the Scottish Conservatives today is the honour and privilege of a lifetime.  

“I want to thank all those who have given me so much encouragement over the last week.

“My focus now is on earning the support and trust of people across Scotland who are looking for a positive and credible alternative in Scotland, and who want a fresh start for our country.”

The SNP suggested the appointment was a “total takeover of the Scottish Tories” by Westminster and that Ross would be “Boris Johnson’s man in Scotland”, while the Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said the whole situation was “symbolic of Boris Johnson’s contempt for Scotland and our parliament, and even for their own members”.

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