Douglas Ross linesman: Is Scottish Tory candidate a football referee?

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Douglas Ross is campaigning for the upcoming Scottish Parliament election, which will be held on May 6. However, alongside his political role as Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Mr Ross has another part-time job. 

When did Douglas Ross start his political career?

Douglas Ross first entered Scottish politics when he was elected to The Moray Council in 2007. 

After several years in local government, Mr Ross ran as the Conservative candidate for Moray in the 2010 and 2015 general elections, but he was unsuccessful.

After standing on the Highlands and Islands regional list, Mr Ross was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016.

Mr Ross resigned his seat in Scottish Parliament after winning the seat of Moray in the 2017 snap general election. 

Mr Ross kept his role as MP for Moray during the 2019 general election as well.

Douglas Ross took the party’s top job of leader in August 2020. 

Mr Ross won the contest unopposed.

Is Douglas Ross a football referee?

In his spare time, Mr Ross works as a qualified football referee. 

He was one of the officials at the 2015 and 2018 Scottish Cup Final.

Mr Ross has also officiated at several other football matches in Scotland and internationally.

On occasion, balancing his role as a referee and as a politician has sparked criticism against Mr Ross.

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Mr Ross apologised for missing a two-minute silence in his Moray constituency for a VJ Day event in August 2020 while he officiated at a Scottish Premiership game. 

Mr Ross tweeted: “I was selected to officiate a match before I was invited to the VJ Day event. 

“But when it became clear there was a clash, I should have asked to be taken off my game. 

“I got this wrong & I’m sorry. I’m donating my match fee to Help for Heroes who do so much to support our veterans.”

In December 2020, Mr Ross was absent from a party leaders’ summit and ex-party leader Ruth Davidson had to stand in for him at the First Minister’s briefing.

A spokesman for Mr Ross said he was only alerted to the invite at half-time during Saturday’s Rangers v Motherwell match.

However, then-Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard criticised Mr Ross. He said: “This is another case of double jobbing by Douglas Ross.

“His unavailability is another example of why he should give it up and why the practice of second jobs should be outlawed.”

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