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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Call for Investigation Over Douglas Ross Expenses Scandal

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The SNP has written to IPSA and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards calling for an investigation into claims that Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross misused Parliamentary expenses to fund and facilitate his paid employment as a football referee.

In the letter to Ian Todd, Chief Executive of IPSA, and Daniel Greenberg CB, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, today, SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown MSP writes:

“Dear Ian and Richard,

“On Sunday, a substantial and serious allegation emerged regarding Douglas Ross, the Tory MP for Moray in the outgoing parliament.

“Mr Ross is in the highly irregular position of possessing three different paid jobs at the same time – MP, MSP and football linesman.

“According to the Sunday Mail, a whistleblower in the Tory Party has alleged that Mr Ross abused his publicly paid expenses as an MP to fund and facilitate his paid employment as a football referee – and then sought to cover it up.

“The Sunday Mail reports, “his team identified the 28 [claims] where he wrongly used parliamentary-funded travel to facilitate ref work”, including “multiple cases where Ross had combined parliamentary travel with linesman work or claims for parking while refereeing on expenses”. These claims were allegedly “hushed up by worried aides”.

“If confirmed, this would amount to a serious breach of the MP Code of Conduct, with Section D, Rule 2 clearly stating,

“Members must base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.”

“If these allegations were fully substantiated, it would mean that Mr Ross has been abusing his public funded Westminster expenses to unfairly fund his receipt of another, separate salary. It would amount to another Westminster expenses scandal carried out by the current leader of the Scottish Tory Party.

“Given the seriousness of this matter, it is in the public interest for these allegations to be investigated immediately.

“The need for that swift investigation is also required because of the fact that Mr Ross is now seeking re-election to Westminster, due to his last-minute decision to displace his colleague David Duguid.

“Voters in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East have the right to know if Douglas Ross has blatantly abused publicly paid expenses over the last number of years.

“Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter. I look forward to your response.

“Yours sincerely,

Keith Brown MSP
SNP Depute Leader”

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