Amid rising support for independence and polls showing a consistent majority now back a Yes vote, Jackson Carlaw resigned as leader of the Scottish Tories – only 5 months ago after getting elected.
“Boris-backing, Brexit-positive” Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, has now been crowned as new Scottish Tory leader. Here’s all you need to know.
1) Made comments about Scotland’s traveller community
Douglas Ross faced heavy criticism from human rights groups including Amnesty International for saying that “tougher enforcement against Gypsy travellers” would be his “top priority” if he were Prime Minister for a day.
He then went on national radio to defend himself, describing the traveller community as “a blight on our community”.
And there’s more. Several years prior, he appeared to compare a travellers’ site to a landfill tip, and made more anti-traveller remarks during his time as a Moray councillor – highlighting abhorrent views.
Douglas Ross is the favourite to become next @ScotTories leader.
“If you were Prime Minister for a day, without any repercussions, what would you do?”
Douglas Ross: “I’d like to see tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers.” pic.twitter.com/RyCd3E2P7Q
— Leo Mikłasz (@leomiklasz) July 30, 2020
2) Missed a key vote on the roll-out of Universal Credit to attend a football match in Spain
Just months after being elected as an MP, Douglas Ross – who is also a part-time football referee – missed a crucial debate and votes on Universal Credit, instead choosing to pocket substantial additional income from refereeing in Barcelona.
All across Scotland, delays in payments and a shambolic roll-out of Universal Credit has caused significant hardship that left scores of families struggling.
That Douglas Ross chose a football jaunt over his responsibility to stand up for his constituents – while enthusiastically supporting a decade of brutal Tory austerity – lays bare just how out-of-touch with reality he is.
— The Scotsman (@TheScotsman) December 14, 2017
3) Failed to stand up for Scotland by backing an extreme Brexit
Despite Scotland’s clearly expressed wish to remain in the EU, not only did Douglas Ross vote against all of the possible compromise options, but also consistently joined forces with the hard-right to back a no-deal Brexit – showing his intention to inflict maximum damage to Scotland, whatever the cost.
Following orders from the Westminster bosses – instead of siding with Scotland’s interests – is right at the top of the job description for any Scottish Tory leader, and “Boris Johnson’s candidate” Douglas Ross is no different.
🗳️ Tonight Scottish Tory MPs had the chance to vote in Scotland’s interests and rule out a no-deal Brexit. Instead, once again, they marched through the lobbies with hard-right Brexiteers in order to continue this #Brexit madness. pic.twitter.com/9K6lOLqKbx
— The SNP (@theSNP) February 27, 2019
4) Voted against protecting the NHS from being sold off and opened up to private firms in post-Brexit trade deals
Douglas Ross, with not even a whisper of criticism from the Scottish Tories, voted against a crucial amendment that would prevent the NHS from being carved up and sold off in a Tory-Trump trade deal.
Despite the Tories’ half-hearted claims that the NHS is not for sale, Douglas Ross has also refused to back the SNP’s NHS Protection Bill – which, had Tory MPs not blocked it, would have ensured a legal commitment to always keep the NHS in public hands.
— Mirror Politics (@MirrorPolitics) July 21, 2020
5) Endorsed a power grab on the Scottish Parliament and voted against giving Scotland a say
As Boris Johnson prepares to marginalise and override the devolved nations to satisfy Donald Trump’s trade deal demands, the Scottish Tories have shamefully fallen into line and backed plans that amount to nothing less than a power grab.
The UK government’s Trade Bill will effectively rip up the devolution settlement by creating an unelected Westminster body that will oversee legislation passed at Holyrood, as well as block key powers – including state aid – from the Scottish Parliament.
What’s more, Douglas Ross also voted against SNP amendments that would guarantee the Scottish Parliament a role in post-Brexit trade talks – which is yet more evidence that just like any other Scottish Tory leader, Douglas Ross will always choose to side with Boris Johnson than with the people of Scotland.
🤏 The Tories are plotting a fresh Brexit power grab on the Scottish Parliament.
📢 @Ianblackford_MP: “We know this government is undertaking a full-scale assault on devolution”.
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 15, 2020