Douglas Ross urged to quit as MP before Holyrood election

The Scottish Conservative leader should resign his seat and trigger a by-election for the same date as the Scottish Parliament vote, the SNP has demanded.

Moray MP Douglas Ross is hoping to return to the Scottish Parliament after being placed top of the Scottish Conservatives’ Highlands and Islands regional list, although he is not contesting a constituency seat.

SNP MSP for Moray, Richard Lochhead, claims it is “untenable” for Mr Ross to continue as an MP once elected an MSP.

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He said it was “impossible to hold four jobs at once”, mentioning Mr Ross’s plans to also continue as a professional football linesman as well as be leader of his party in Scotland.

Douglas Ross has been urged to stand down as an MP before the Holyrood election.

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The SNP claims a separate by-election held after May’s election would cost the public an estimated £175,000.

Mr Lochhead said: “I am urging Douglas Ross to resign from the UK Parliament to allow a by-election to take place on the same day as the Scottish Parliament elections.

"This will ensure Moray can have a full-time voice in Westminster and potentially save the taxpayer an estimated £175,000.

“The talk is that Mr Ross is only standing on the list so when his party flops at May’s election, he can be more easily replaced as a list MSP, letting him scuttle off back to Westminster as an MP.

“He can’t possibly be in both Holyrood and Westminster at the same time and he is already notorious for struggling to balance all his current responsibilities as an SFA linesman, MP and party leader. Now he wants to add MSP to the list of jobs."Mr Lochhead said the “days of dual mandates should be consigned to history” and that being an MSP was a full-time job.

“Any MSP will tell you that their current workload has never been bigger due to the pandemic,” he said.

The SNP changed its rules last year to force its MPs to resign their Westminster seats should they want to run for Holyrood.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "Voters have become wise to the desperate distraction tactics of Nicola Sturgeon's sleaze-infested SNP while the Scottish Conservatives focus on blocking another damaging referendum and rebuilding after the pandemic."

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