Who could replace Douglas Ross as Scottish Tory leader?

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party will have its fourth leader since 2019 soon - but who will it be?

Who could replace Douglas Ross as Scottish Tory leader? Getty Images

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party will soon have a new leader after Douglas Ross announced he would step down.

The Highlands and Islands MSP has led the party since 2020, taking over from Jackson Carlaw.

He announced his resignation after a row about his decision to stand at the General Election.

An MP as well as an MSP – and a football linesman – he had previously said that he would focus on his job at Holyrood.

But he announced a last-minute bid to run for the constituency of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East. That had its own controversy because the party had deselected David Duiguid, saying he was too ill. Duguid said that was not true.

A timeline is not clear yet but the Scottish Tory party will soon have its fourth leader since 2019, when Ruth Davidson stood down.

So who could take over the top Tory job and become leader of the opposition at Holyrood?

Russell Findlay

Russell Findlay is the Tory justice spokesperson.Getty Images

Russell Findlay has been one of the biggest names touted as a potential successor to Douglas Ross.

He was previously a journalist at STV News, the Scottish Sun and the Sunday Mail.

He was elected as an MSP for West Scotland in 2021 and served as the justice spokesperson for his party.

He has spoken out about his own experience of the justice system after he was the victim of an acid attack in 2015.

He has been a keen critic of the Scottish Government, making passionate speeches in Holyrood and has railed against the SNP’s gender reforms and hate crime act.

Meghan Gallacher

Meghan Gallacher is also one of the MSPs first elected in 2021 and has since ascended the ranks to become the party’s deputy leader.

A Central Scotland MSP, she has been critical of the Scottish Government’s gender reforms.

She was previously a councillor in North Lanarkshire.

While some may see the 32-year-old as a rising star within the party, it’s thought others might think she is not ready for the role.

Craig Hoy

Craig Hoy has been the Tory chair since 2022.Getty Images

Craig Hoy is the chair of the Scottish Conservatives and is also one of the party’s MSPs elected in 2021.

He was previously a councillor in East Lothian worked as a journalist for the BBC and co-funded the Holyrood magazine.

Hoy is one of the party’s most prominent media performers, giving quotes for newspapers and doing broadcast interviews regularly.

Murdo Fraser

Murdo Fraser is one of the Conservative Party’s longest-serving MSPs, having been at Holyrood since 2001.

If he decides to run it wouldn’t be for the first time.

He went up against Rush Davidson in 2011 but ultimately lost.

Back then, he called for the Scottish Tories to split from the UK party.

He also served as the party’s deputy leader between 2005 and 2011.

Jamie Greene

Jamie Greene has served in various roles in the Tories' top team.Getty Images

Jamie Greene has been an MSP for the West Scotland region since 2016 and has previously held roles as justice and education spokesperson.

He is considered to be on the more socially liberal side of the Tories.

He supported the Scottish Government’s controversial gender reforms and has since said that decision likely cost him his job as justice spokesperson.

That was handed to Russell Findlay, a strong critic of the bill.

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