Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross to stand in seat after outgoing MP David Duguid blocked | Politics News

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has announced he is standing in the upcoming general election – in a seat where the expected Tory candidate is recovering from spinal surgery.

Mr Ross had announced he was standing down as a Westminster MP to concentrate on his job as an MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) ahead of the 2026 Holyrood election campaign.

But, on Thursday morning, the Scottish Conservatives announced a last-minute news conference with Mr Ross at 9.30am.

Ahead of that, Sky News discovered he was set to announce he actually will be standing to be a Westminster MP in the new Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency after his Moray constituency’s abolishment this year due to boundary changes.

Aberdeenshire North and Moray East is the new name for the Banff and Buchan constituency Scottish office minister David Duguid has held since 2017.

The move by Mr Ross is set to be controversial as Mr Duguid was not re-selected for the seat on Wednesday evening due to health grounds, the Scottish Conservatives said.

However, Mr Duguid said on Wednesday he had been looking forward to standing in the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency as he was making a good recovery from surgery.

He recently spent four weeks in intensive care due to an illness affecting his spine.

Mr Ross said the party had to make the difficult decision not to allow Mr Duguid to stand as he was not well enough, and said he only made the decision to stand in the seat on Thursday morning and had not seen himself standing as an MP in this election.

“I’ve decided I need to lead from the front so this evening I will put my name forward for the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat to beat the SNP,” he said.

“I know how to beat the SNP and I know how important it is for local voters to beat the SNP.”

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A YouGov poll with Sky News published this week has Aberdeenshire and Moray East staying Conservative, while the seat of Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey, which is made up mostly of Mr Ross’s old seat of Moray, is set to go to the SNP.

As well as Mr Ross, the other confirmed candidates in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East are:

• Ian Bailey – Liberal Democrats
• Andrew Brown – Labour
• Seamus Logan – SNP

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