Tory MSP Douglas Ross misses meeting to referee football match

Tory MSP Douglas Ross. Picture: SNS Group
Tory MSP Douglas Ross. Picture: SNS Group
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Conservative MSP Douglas Ross is facing calls for his resignation from a Holyrood committee after he missed a meeting to be assistant referee for the Sporting Lisbon/Real Madrid Champions League tie.

The SNP called on Mr Ross to quit from the Scottish Parliament’s Justice committee or give up his refereeing job which is estimated to earn him around £40,000 per year.

Mr Ross is also a councillor with Moray Council and his trip to Portugal meant he missed its policy and resources committee meeting on Tuesday.

It was not the first time Mr Ross’s footballing commitments have interfered with his political ones.

In September, Mr Ross missed committee meetings, a parliamentary vote and local meetings about MoD base closures while he attended a five day refereeing course in Switzerland.

The SNP’s Ben Macpherson said: “The arrogance and blatant disrespect of ‘three jobs’ Tory Douglas Ross is simply staggering. Last time the whistle was blown on one of his refereeing junkets the Tories claimed it was just a ‘one off’. But he’s at it again – and this time it should be a straight red card. 

“Obviously he values his £40k-a-year weekend job – and all-expenses paid trips to Lisbon and other European cities – more than his responsibilities as an MSP and local councillor, demonstrating complete contempt for the people who elected him. 

“If Douglas Ross can’t pitch up to do his job, it’s time for relegation – he should either take a step back from refereeing or stand down from Holyrood’s justice committee with immediate effect, and Ruth Davidson should give him the boot from her frontbench team.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Earlier this year Ben Macpherson asked Douglas to kindly speak to clubs in his constituency about refereeing – presumably this invitation has now been rescinded.”