THE SCOTTISH Conservatives’ rural economy and tourism spokesperson has resigned from the front bench after voting against the party’s whip at Holyrood.

Oliver Mundell has resigned from Douglas Ross’s team after refusing to back his party’s stance on travel restrictions coming into force.

Mr Mundell said he was unable to support the measures on behalf of his Dumfresshire constituents.

He said: “On this occasion it was sadly not possible to balance the very specific needs of my constituents with the need to take a collective view as a party that works for the whole country.

“I understand the difficult position that puts colleagues in and I have therefore regrettably offered Douglas Ross my resignation as a party spokesperson. I continue to fully support him and the party.”

The resignation comes less than 24 hours before Mr Ross’ first conference as leader, which is due to kick off on Friday afternoon before the leader gives a speech on Saturday along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack.

READ MORE: Oliver Mundell ejected from Holyrood for Nicola Sturgeon 'liar' jibe

Mr Ross said: “Oliver always puts the needs of his constituents first and while I’m very disappointed to see him leave the shadow cabinet, I appreciate that he is only doing what he feels is best for his local area.

“He has been a very capable member of the shadow cabinet and I thank him for all his work for the party. I know he will continue to be a great Scottish Conservative representative for Dumfriesshire.”

MSPs voted by 99 votes to 23 to back the travel restrictions.

The parliamentary debate was not to approve or reject the changes, but to express the support of the parliament for the regulations.

An amendment by the Conservatives, which was voted down by 71 to 51, called for the Scottish Government to publish evidence for the move into the highest level of restrictions.

Mr Mundell, the son of former Scottish Secretary David Mundell, was ejected from the Holyrood debating chamber in September for insinuating that Nicola Sturgeon was a "liar" and refusing to withdraw the remarks.

His comments related to remarks the First Minister made over making evidence available to MSPs investigating the botched inquiry into harassment complaints against Alex Salmond.

When asked to apologise, Mr Mundell said "in this case I do feel it’s the appropriate word and I can’t find anything else that would express the sentiment”.

Mr Mundell, who will continue as a Conservative MSP, was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and has previously been the party's community safety spokesperson.

He campaigned for the United Kingdom to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and continues to press the case for Brexit at Holyrood – particularly over agriculture policy.

Earlier this week, Mr Mundell leaped tot he defence of Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister labelled devolution "a disaster".

Mr Mundell said: "I agree with the sentiment that the Prime Minister was getting at."

He added the SNP has "not been good for people in Scotland".