DOUGLAS Ross has launched its offer to become the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
There were rumors that Moray's MP would run for the position minutes after Jackson Carlaw's resignation on Thursday – and confirmed last night that he would.
This morning, Ross launched its campaign website outlining its intention to "join forces to advance Scotland".
In his statement, he said he wanted to "represent patriotic Scots who only want the government to provide practical, pragmatic answers to the challenges we face".
He also seems to be dealing with some of his Holyrood colleagues and writes: "Unlike others – I will not fly the white flag in the Holyrood elections next year in the competition against the SNP".
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Yesterday, MSP Adam Tomkins, who will not seek re-election in 2021, admitted that support for Scottish independence is now the "majority" in Scotland.
In his campaign launch, Ross explains that he will receive a "shared ticket" with former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson – although she intends to leave Holyrood next year to take up her position in the House of Lords, it is unclear how this will happen will work in practice.
Ross has asked Davidson to represent the Scottish Tories in Holyrood on FMQs until a new leader is chosen. If successful, he intends to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections next year.
Former Scottish Office minister says: "While our opposition to a second independence referendum will remain as firm as ever, our focus will deviate from the 6-year no-yes competition."
Support for Scotland's independence is currently 54%, according to recent polls, and the SNP is expected to win a majority vote in the Scottish Parliament next year.
Moray's MP made headlines earlier this year when he left the Scottish office in the Dominic Cummings scandal. The Prime Minister's top advisor drove from London to his parents' Durham farm while suffering from Covid-19 at the height of the closure, and insisted that the trip was for childcare purposes only.
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Since Ross announced his intention to run as leader of the Scottish Tory, his earlier comments on "Gypsy Travelers" have also reappeared in the newspapers.
He came under fire in 2017 because he said tackling gypsies and travelers would be his top priority if he were prime minister for a day. The comments sparked an outcry from anti-racism activists.
But aside from the rage over these comments, his recent claim that the Scots were "cheering and waving" Boris Johnson during his visit to Scotland and arguing over Ross' second job as a referee, what does he stand for?
Here's a quick overview of how Ross voted in the House of Commons:
Most recently, after the Brexit, all six Scottish Tory MPs voted against efforts to protect the NHS from outside UK control. The Trade Bill amendment not only protected the protection of healthcare from overseas controls, but was also intended to ensure that any trade agreement does not compromise the ability to provide free delivery service, employees have no wages, or die Rights have been cut, drug prices have been controlled and patient data has not been sold. We Own It campaign manager Ellen Lees said it was "frankly disgusting" that Tories had not protected the NHS in the bill.
Ross voted against another amendment to the trade law to ensure that decentralized governments have a say in trade agreements after Brexit. All six Scottish Tory MPs rejected this amendment. Stewart Hosie, Margaret Ferrier, Ben Lake, Joanna Cherry and Colum Eastwood had submitted the change to ensure that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could give their consent to trade rules that included matters within their jurisdiction.
Food and agriculture:
Back in May, Ross and the five other Scottish Tory MPs had rejected an attempt to protect the UK food and agriculture sector from low-quality imports after Brexit.
Tory MP Neil Parish had tabled an amendment to the Farming Act, which would enshrine the principle that imported food must meet British farmers' quality and animal welfare standards. The leader of the National Sheep Association in Scotland said the farmers had been "thrown under the bus" by the Tories.
Ross has generally voted against delegating further powers to the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments. He voted against the introduction of a more proportional system for the election of deputies. In 2018, he voted to reduce local government funding from the UK government.
Ross has consistently voted to introduce a stricter asylum system. For example, on 30 June the MP voted to remove the right of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, spouses, vulnerable and dependent adults to join a family member who is already legally present in the UK.
Already in February, a majority of MEPs voted after terrible fires in Australia against the British government's request to develop and implement a plan to eliminate most traffic emissions by 2030. Ross was one of the 310 MPs who voted against this move. In 2019, he also voted against changing the Queen's speech to implement a green industrial revolution to decarbonize the economy. And in July 2018, the Moray MP voted to reduce financial support for former coal-fired power plants that run on biomass such as wood or other plant material.
Ross has consistently voted against Britain's EU membership since his election in 2017. The majority of its Moray voters voted in the 2016 referendum to stay in the EU.
Ross voted against same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In 2018, he also voted against the retention of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in British law after Brexit.
All Ross voting results can be viewed on They work for you.