Douglas Ross ‘set to stand for Scottish Tory leadership’

Tory sources say the Moray MP wants the job following Jackson Carlaw's resignation.

Moray MP Douglas Ross is preparing to stand for leadership of the Scottish Conservatives, according to Tory sources.

It comes after the shock resignation of Jackson Carlaw following just five months as party leader.

Carlaw succeeded Ruth Davidson after she quit last August.

Ross resigned from Boris Johnson’s Government as a Scotland Office minister over the Dominic Cummings scandal.

The Moray MP – who used to be an MSP – said in May that he couldn’t get his head around the No 10 adviser’s claim that he drove 60 miles to beauty spot Barnard Castle to test his eyesight during lockdown.

But Ross was pictured with the Prime Minister alongside Carlaw during Johnson’s visit to Scotland last week.

Conservative sources have told STV News that Ross is expected to throw his hat in the ring for the leadership.

It is also anticipated that Davidson will represent the Scottish Tories in the chamber against First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while the party picks a new leader.

Were Ross to become Scottish Tory leader, it is expected he would again seek a seat in the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking to STV News on Friday evening after his resignation, Carlaw said he believed his party needed a “younger and fresher face” to lead it ahead of next May’s Holyrood election.

Recent polling has suggested the SNP is on course for a majority at next May’s Scottish Parliament election, while support for independence has enjoyed consistent majority support.

In his resignation statement, Carlaw said he had come to the realisation he was not “the person best placed” to make the case for the union.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has questioned the abruptness of Carlaw’s departure, saying: “Was he pushed or did he jump?”

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