Douglas Ross to quit as Scottish Tory leader after general election

First Minister John Swinney has accused Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross of treating voters with contempt – after the Conservative announced he would only quit Holyrood if he wins a seat at Westminster.

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has said he will stand down after the General Election and will also quit Holyrood if he is elected as an MP.

Douglas Ross made the announcement in the wake of the row over his decision to stand in the Aberdeen North and Moray East constituency.

Former UK government minister David Duguid had wanted to fight the seat, but the Scottish Conservative Party management board ruled ill health meant he should not stand, with Mr Ross confirming last week that he would put himself forward for the constituency.

It comes after Mr Ross, who is also an MSP, had previously vowed he would step down from Westminster to focus on Holyrood and his role as party leader.

In a statement released on Monday, Mr Ross said: "I am committed to fighting and winning the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency.

"Should I be given the honour to represent the people and communities of this new seat, they should know being their MP would receive my complete focus and attention.

"I will therefore stand down as leader following the election on July 4, once a successor is elected.

"Should I win the seat, I will also stand down as an MSP to make way for another Scottish Conservative representative in Holyrood."

He insisted: "My party has a chance to beat the SNP in key seats up and down Scotland, including in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East. We must now come together and fully focus on doing exactly that."

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