Douglas Ross (Scottish politician)

Douglas Gordon Ross (born 27 January 1983) is a Scottish Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Moray since June 2017. He was previously a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Highlands and Islands region.

Douglas Ross

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland
Assumed office
17 December 2019
Prime MinisterBoris Johnson
Preceded byColin Clark
Member of Parliament
for Moray
Assumed office
9 June 2017
Preceded byAngus Robertson
Majority513 (1.1%)
Member of the Scottish Parliament
In office
6 May 2016  9 June 2017
Succeeded byJamie Halcro Johnston
ConstituencyHighlands and Islands
Personal details
Douglas Gordon Ross

(1983-01-27) 27 January 1983
Aberdeen, Scotland
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Krystle Ross
Children1 son

Early life and education

He was born on 27 January 1983 to Sandy and Lesley Ross. Ross was educated at Forres Academy and the Scottish Agricultural College.[1]

Political career

Ross was first elected to Moray council in 2007, representing the Fochabers-Lhanbryde ward, and became part of the Independent/Conservative administration. He resigned from the council administration in December 2009, but continued as a Councillor.[2] In 2012 he was re-elected to the Moray council. He again became part of the ruling administration group, but was 'ousted' from this in 2014, following a debate about school closures.[3]

He has three times stood as the Conservative candidate in the Moray constituency at the UK Parliament and twice as the Conservative candidate for the Moray Scottish Parliament constituency, coming second to Angus Robertson in the 2010 and 2015 UK elections, and second to Richard Lochhead in the 2011 and 2016 Scottish elections, increasing his vote by 5.0% in 2015 and 18.0% in 2016. He became a member of the Scottish parliament in May 2016 for Highlands and Islands after being placed first on the regional list.[4]

He stood again in the 2017 UK general election for the seat of Moray, challenging the SNP deputy leader, Angus Robertson. Ross was successful in overturning Robertson's 9,065 majority with 22,637 votes, 47.6% of the votes cast, gaining a 16.5% swing to the Conservatives.[5] Having gained a seat at Westminster, he resigned from his seat in the Scottish Parliament. He supported the UK remaining within the EU in the 2016 membership referendum.[6]

In 2017, Ross said during an interview that if he was Prime Minister for a day "without any repercussions", he would "like to see tougher enforcement against Gypsy Travellers". His remark was criticised, including by Naomi McAuliffe of Amnesty International.[7][8] Ross apologised for his use of language.[9] The Scottish Football Association launched a disciplinary investigation into his remarks, which did not lead to any formal disciplinary action, but warned him to pay attention to his use of language.[10][11]

SNP and Labour spokesmen criticised Ross for missing a debate on Universal Credit in October 2017, due to his commitments as a football referee.[12] Shortly afterwards, Ross decided he would no longer accept referee appointments while the UK Parliament is sitting.[13]

Following his re-election as MP for Moray at the 2019 general election, Ross was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, replacing Colin Clark who had lost his seat in the election.[14]

Football referee

Ross is a football referee. Ross was one of the officials for the 2015 Scottish Cup Final, assisting Willie Collum.[15] He continued his refereeing career after being elected to the Scottish Parliament,[16] and the UK Parliament.

In the House of Commons Register of Members' Interests, Ross declared earnings of more than £2,700 in August and September 2017 for his work as an assistant referee.[11][17] In October, Ross told the football authorities that he would no longer accept refereeing appointments during the week while the UK Parliament is sitting.[13] By December 2017 his declared income from 20 domestic and international games since becoming an MP was more than £11,000.[18]

In December 2018, BBC Sport reported that Ross had reduced the number of refereeing appointments due to his work commitments as an MP.[19] At this time, Ross also argued that the Scottish Football Association should not appoint fully professional referees.[19]

Personal life

He married Krystle Bentley in 2015. They have one son born in 2019.[1][20]


  1. "Ross, Douglas Gordon". A & C Black. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  2. "Senior planning councillor ousted following Moray school closure row". STV News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  3. Robertson, John (25 November 2014). "Ousted Moray councillor to fight for Westminster seat". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  4. "Election 2016: Highlands and Islands Scottish Parliament region". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  5. "General election 2017: SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson loses seat". 9 June 2017 via
  6. "EU referendum debate: How did your MSP vote?". 26 May 2016 via
  7. Shedden, Sam (23 August 2017). "New Tory MP Douglas Ross slammed for anti-Traveller comment". The Scotsman. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  8. Kirkaldy, Liam (24 August 2017). "Amnesty International calls for Douglas Ross to apologise over gypsy remarks". Holyrood. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  9. "Tory MP Douglas Ross apologises for 'Gypsy traveller' comments". BBC News. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  10. "Football official and MP's 'gypsy' comments probed by SFA". STV. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  11. "No formal SFA action over Douglas Ross 'gypsy' comments". STV News. STV. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  12. "Tory MP misses vote to be assistant referee at Champions League game". BBC News. BBC. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  13. "Referee Tory MP Douglas Ross to miss World Cup". BBC News. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  14. "Moray MP Douglas Ross appointed Scotland Office minister". BBC News. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  15. "Scottish Cup final: Willie Collum to referee Inverness CT v Falkirk". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  16. "Whistle blown on MSP Douglas Ross's refereeing clash". BBC News. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  17. Commons, House of. "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests (9 October 2017: Ross, Douglas )".
  18. Gordon, Tom (14 December 2017). "Scottish Tory MP Douglas Ross's outside football earnings top £11,000". The Sunday Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  19. "Referee Douglas Ross not convinced by full-time switch". BBC Sport. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  20. Beresford, Alan (13 March 2019). "Oh baby! Frantic dash for MP father". The Northern Scot. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Angus Robertson
Member of Parliament for Moray
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