Douglas Ross became an official leadership candidate today for the Scottish Conservatives after receiving more than 100 nominations.

The Moray MP passed the threshold a mere 90 minutes after announcing his campaign, making him a popular candidate for the role.

After speaking on a Zoom press conference, Mr Ross stated his intentions early on for what we can expect from him if he is successful in his leadership bid.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross officially becomes Scottish Tory leadership candidate


Utilising devolution

Mr Ross wants to give more power to Scotland’s rural regions and towns - and plans to take action.

Speaking at his press conference, the Scottish Tory leadership candidate said:  “Over 13 years, too much power has been drawn into the SNP’s hands in Edinburgh and our regions, cities and towns have lost control as a result.

“Under my leadership, a top priority of the Scottish Conservatives will be to set out new ways to take powers out of the hands of ministers at Holyrood and hand them back to our communities, our rural areas, our towns and villages, who feel they have little or no control over their way of life.”

Ross added: “In short, I plan to power up Scotland.

“Scotland is not a monochrome, monoculture nation as some would have it.

“From the vibrancy of our cities, to the distinct culture of the Highlands and Islands, to the traditions of the south of Scotland, we have so much to offer.

“Our mission will be to give expression to the variety and richness our extraordinary country contains.”

Ruth Davidson is backing him to succeed.


Ruth Davidson has already publicly supported the Moray MP’s bid to become the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Ms Davidson said: “This job needs someone who knows how to beat the SNP - and Douglas has a heck of a record. Winning his seat against them not once, but twice."

"With Douglas, the Scottish Conservatives will offer strong, capable and principled opposition to the SNP - and give a voice to everyone who wants to tell the Nationalists once and for all: we said no, and we meant it." 

"Let's get on and focus on the issues that matter to the Scottish people".

But he is also banking on Ruth Davidson to deliver

Mr Ross has publicly stated that he is looking for Ms Davidson to take on the FMQ’s every Thursday.

He said: "Our best striker has agreed to get back on the pitch: Ruth Davidson."

The Moray MP is putting his faith on Ruth Davidson’s experience in facing off against Nicola Sturgeon as he aims to take the fight to the SNP.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson: Douglas Ross has 'vision, drive and energy' to lead Scottish Conservatives

Moving on from IndyRef

Mr Ross wants to unite the nation and move on from the discussion of Scottish independence and look towards Scotland’s future. 

He says: “So while our opposition to a second independence referendum will remain as firm as ever, our focus is going to move on from the 6 year old contest of No v Yes.

"The real dividing line now is this: it’s between those in the SNP who would take us back to that old sterile debate, and the majority of non-nationalist Scots who want to move forward, with the whole country focused on the key challenges we face.”

Focusing on our education system

The Scottish Tory leadership candidate wants to focus on Scotland’s education system.

Mr Ross says he aims to: “Stop the slow decline of our education system. To dump the failed Curriculum for Excellence experiment, and instead to restore Scotland’s once great reputation as the best place to educate your child, anywhere in the world.”

He adds: “To ensure workers who lose their job have a guarantee that they’ll get reskilled, not dumped on the dole for the rest of their careers.”

READ MORE: Jackson Carlaw quits as Scottish Conservative leader

He plans on uniting the country

Mr Ross spoke of the importance of bringing Scotland together after a 'difficult and testing time for us all.' during the coronavirus pandemic.

He says that Scotland has pulled together and shown 'resilience and spirit' which has shown that we remain a united country. 

Ross added: “Ruth and I will be calling on all voters across the country who want a Scotland that finally moves on from the deadlock of division – when division between Scots has dominated – and who want the focus to be on what we can all achieve together, right here, right now.

"Our message will be: unite behind us, and together, let’s get Scotland going forward.”