Douglas Ross defends plan to work as both MP and MSP

Douglas Ross has defended his plans to work as both an MP and MSP.

The Scottish Conservative leader has dismissed criticism of doing both roles, pointing to former first minister Alex Salmond and others who were “dual mandate” parliamentarians.

Sitting as the MP for Moray since 2017, he pledged to continue the role despite now being on the MSP list for the Highlands & Islands.

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Speaking with journalists on Thursday after launching the Tory campaign, Mr Ross said: “I will continue as the Member of Parliament for Moray. It’s my home area.

Douglas Ross said he would not take a penny if elected to another political job.

"It’s the only constituency I’ve ever stood for and I was proud to be elected the MP for Moray in 2017, defeating the-then SNP leader at Westminster and then being re-elected in 2019.

“And of course dual mandates are not new.

"In the first Scottish Parliament in 1999, a number of Scottish Labour MPs stood for Holyrood, were elected and became government ministers and continued to be MPs until the following election in 2001.

“And the SNP have history with a former MP who was an MSP, party leader and first minister of Scotland.

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"That was actually the SNP policy up until a few months ago when, for their own reasons, they decided not to allow people to have dual mandates.

“I believe I can continue to be an effective MP for the people of Moray, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and that’s what I intend to do.”

Mr Ross currently earns just under £82,000 for his job as an MP, but would receive another £21,490 as a dual mandate MSP – a third of the usual salary.

However, the Moray MP explained he would not take home a single penny of the new income if he wins.

He said: “How much will I trouser? Absolutely not a single penny.

“The entirety of my MSP salary will not be taken by me.

“I’ll look at ways to set up a charity as had been in the past, but I will not benefit financially at all from being both an MP and an MSP.

“For me it was never about that, it was about continuing to represent the constituents who elected me in 2019, and representing I hope the Highlands & Islands in the Scottish Parliament and leading the Scottish Conservatives.”

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