Douglas Ross is rumoured to become the new leader of Scottish Conservative Party after the sudden resignation of Jackson Carlaw earlier today.

Mr Ross, 37, is understood to have the backing of Ruth Davidson and other senior party figures.

But just who is Douglas Ross and why is he being lined up to take the role? Here's what you need to know.

READ MORE: Knocked off course by virus crisis, dithering Carlaw finally ends the drift

What is his history in Scottish politics?

Born in Aberdeen, Mr Ross became a researcher at the Scottish Parliament after leaving his job as a dairyman at local farms.

Mr 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 administrative role in 2009 but continued his work as a councillor.

The 37-year-old stood as the Conservative candidate for Moray at the 2010 and 2015 general elections. He also stood in the Scottish Parliament election  after being in 2011 and 2016.

In May 2016 he was elected as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Highlands and Islands.

In 2017, he stood again for a seat in the general election, this time defeating the SNP deputy leader at the time, Angus Robertson, and then stepped down from his seat in Scottish parliament.

Ross was then appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland in December 2019 after successfully being re-elected as MP for Moray.

READ MORE: MP Douglas Ross tipped to be new Scottish Tory leader

Why did he resign from his previous role?

Mr Ross resigned from his role as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland after the Dominic Cummings scandal in May 2020.

He was the only UK minister to resign over Boris Johnson's decision not to fire Dominic Cummings after the Chief Advisor broke lockdown restrictions by travelling 260 miles from London to Durham.

Where does he stand on Brexit?

Ross publicly backed Remain in 2016 but said "we must complete Brexit" to "deliver the will of the British people".

The MP had voted against Theresa May's initial Brexit deal over concerns about what it could mean for the Union, and missed the second "meaningful vote" at Westminster after his wife went into labour.

Is he really a football referee?

Yes. The MP is also a qualified football referee and assisted Willie Collum in the 2015 Scottish Cup Final.

In December 2017, Mr Ross' declared income from 20 domestic and international games since becoming an MP was more than £11,000.

However he has since reduced the number of games he has refereed due to his work commitments as an MP.

Has he had any controversies?

In 2017, Mr Ross came under fire for saying a crackdown of Gypsies and Travellers would be his number one priority if he were prime minister for a day. Ross later apologised for his comments.

Mr Ross also refused a TV debate on his government’s immigration plans to referee a football match in Ukraine.