Douglas Ross had to phone wife at work over 'credible' death threat

The Scottish Tory leader said politicians suffer 'extremely vicious' abuse online.

Douglas Ross had to phone wife at work over death threat, Scottish Tory leader tells Glasgow conference PA Media

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross had to phone his wife at work to tell her a “credible” death threat had been made against him.

He said that while police had acted “very quickly” to deal with the situation, he wanted to alert his wife Krystle, a police sergeant, before she saw details of it on her work computer.

He spoke about the death threat as he told how politicians can suffer “extremely vicious” abuse online.

Ross, speaking in a question and answer session at the Scottish Conservatives’ conference in Glasgow, said people had “piled in” after a recent interview he gave to the Scottish political magazine Holyrood.

“Politicians have to accept we get a fair share of criticism, people are entitled to do that,” he said.

Douglas Ross with his wife Krystle
Douglas Ross said his wife Krystle was on duty at the time of the death threat.

But Ross, MP for Moray and an MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, added: “It’s amazing how people think they can put anything up there and it to be true because they have typed it in.

“These are words and phrases they would never say to you in person, they would never come up to you and say what they say on social media to your face.

“And I think some of the protection they feel behind the keyboard allows them to get away with far too much.”

He said his sons were still too young to be aware of the abuse he got, but it affected his wife.

Ross said: “One of the particular death threats I got in Moray was acted upon very quickly by our local chief inspector.

“I’ve got a process, all MPs and MSPs have a process they go through, when they get credible threats like that.

“Also I had to then phone Krystle, she was on duty at the time as a sergeant. This would come up on her computer screen that the local MP has a death threat against him, and she happens to be married to him.

“So I wanted to make sure she was aware of that before it started going through her system.”

Douglas Ross at Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow
Before entering politics, Douglas Ross was a farmer.

The former farmer also said he now has two pygmy goats – adding that he would be spending his day off on Sunday “clearing them out”.

He recalled: “I used to do the milking at two in the morning and two in the afternoon. The two in the morning milking, no one else was there, no one would bother you and you were alone in your thoughts, you could think of many things.

“I’m not quite alone so much now, there’s demands of my time, but it was a career I thoroughly enjoyed. It was something I was passionate about.”

He added: “While I don’t have cows any more I have got two black and white goats, we now have pygmy goats to add to the chickens in our household. So that’s a wee bit of farming still going on there.

“My day off tomorrow is going to be clearing them out.”

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