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by Staff Reporter
06 June 2024
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross to stand in general election

Douglas Ross had been expected to stand down at Westminster | Alamy

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross to stand in general election

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross is set to stand in the general election.

Ross, who had been set to stand down at Westminster, will contest the seat of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East. He is currently also an MSP for the Highlands and Islands and his party's leader at Holyrood. 

He is set to make an announcement in Edinburgh later this morning.

Ross will replace former Scotland Office minister David Duguid as the party’s candidate in the seat.

Duguid, who had been the MP for Banff and Buchan since 2017, was not selected to stand in the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency.

He recently spent four weeks in the intensive care unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary due to an illness affecting his spine.

Ross said: “Unfortunately, with real regret, the party management board concluded that David could not proceed as our candidate for the new seat of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.

“I want to personally thank him for the significant role he has played and there will always be a place for him in the Scottish Conservatives.

“Going forward, we need a candidate to fight this seat at short notice. Nominations close tomorrow.

“This is one of many seats we’re defending against the SNP - and one we fully intend to win with the support of local voters.

“Over the last 12 hours, I weighed up the options and I have discussed it with my family, colleagues and local members. After boundary changes this new seat includes part of my former Moray constituency, and some of the council ward I was first elected to serve back in 2007.

“This constituency will be very competitive, a hard fought, close contest between the Scottish Conservatives and the SNP. I have decided I need to lead from the front.”

The SNP said Ross’ U-turn on his decision to stand was a “day of shame” for his party.

SNP campaign director Stewart Hosie said: “This is a day of shame for the Tories, with three-jobs Douglas Ross taking a seat from David Duguid to keep his third salary at Westminster. The way the Tories have treated Mr Duguid is indefensible. The nasty party just got nastier.

“People in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East deserve a dedicated, full time MP and local champion. That's what SNP candidate Seamus Logan will be.”

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie said: “This screeching U-turn shows there is no promise flip-flop Ross won’t break.

“Douglas Ross is treating his constituents with contempt by refusing to give up one of his three jobs and his shoddy treatment of his own colleague shows how morally bankrupt the Tories are.

“The Scottish Tories can no longer attempt to distance themselves from the carnage we have seen in Downing Street – Douglas Ross has always been right at the heart of this rotten Tory government.

“The people of the Highlands and Islands deserve better than a part-time MSP and Scotland deserves better than this chaotic and dysfunctional Tory government.”

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