RUTH Davidson has been urged to sack her justice spokesman after he again put refereeing a football match ahead of his duties at Holyrood

Douglas Ross, who earns up to £40,000 a year from a second job as a sports professional, was in Portugal on Tuesday to act as an assistant referee at the Champions League Tie between Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid.

The overseas trip meant he missed a meeting of Holyrood’s Justice Committee, which is currently holding a high-profile inquiry into Scotland’s prosecution service.

The Highlands and MSP also missed a committee meeting in relation to his third job as a councillor in Moray.

The SNP said the Scottish Tory leader should give Mr Ross, who has proven one of her party’s best performers, “a straight red card”.

Mr Ross, 34, has been criticised before for missing parliament because of refereeing.

In September, he was accused of undermining the Tory election pledge to be a “strong opposition” after going on a five-day SFA course on World Cup refereeing in Switzerland.

He missed the Justice Committee and a knife-edge chamber vote on local taxation.

The Conservatives said at the time it had been a “one-off problem”.

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson, who also sits on the Justice Committee, demanded Ms Davidson sack Mr Ross as her justice spokesman and called on him to resign from the committee.

Accusing Mr Ross of showing "complete contempt for the people who elected him," he said: “The arrogance and blatant disrespect of ‘three jobs’ Douglas Ross is staggering.

“Last time the whistle was blown on one of his refereeing junkets the Tories claimed it was just a ‘one off’. But he’s at it again – and this time it should be a straight red card.

“Obviously he values his £40k-a-year weekend job – and all-expenses paid trips to Lisbon and other European cities – more than his responsibilities as an MSP and local councillor.

“If Douglas Ross can’t pitch up to do his job, it’s time for relegation – he should either take a step back from refereeing or stand down from Holyrood’s justice committee with immediate effect, and Ruth Davidson should give him the boot from her frontbench team.”

Referring to separate news that Ross Colquhoun, a worker at SNP HQ, had sent a series of Tweets about the Tories embracing “fascism and Nazism”, a Conservative spokesman said: “Perhaps the SNP should look closer to home when it comes to sackings.

“Earlier this year Ben Macpherson asked Douglas to speak to kindly clubs in his constituency about refereeing – presumably this invitation has now been rescinded.”

Tory MSP Professor Adam Tomkins was also under fire last week after missing Holyrood’s social security committee to attend his second job as a Glasgow University law lecturer.