Scottish Tory leader refers himself to watchdog over undeclared income | Scottish politics

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, has referred himself to the parliamentary standards watchdog for failing to declare thousands of pounds in outside earnings.

The Herald reported that Ross failed to declare £28,218.57 from his second job as an MSP and third job as a football referee.

The undeclared income included £6,728.57 from 16 football matches in 2021 and 2020, and £21,490 in a top-up salary from his role as an MSP.

The SNP said the Moray MP was “knee-deep in the Tory sleaze scandal”.

In a statement to the Herald, Ross said: “This was an error on my behalf that shouldn’t have happened, and I apologise for not registering these payments on time.

“Since realising my mistake last week, I contacted the Office of the Register of Interests and made them aware of the situation. All payments have now been declared, including those from my MSP salary that are donated to charities.”

The SNP Westminster deputy leader, Kirsten Oswald, said: “The rule-breaking Scottish Tory leader must shift his attention from maximising his outside earnings and start focusing on his role as an MSP, which is supposed to be a full-time job.

“Failing to declare thousands of pounds from multiple side hustles is a clear breach of the rules but the bigger concern is that Mr Ross isn’t doing the day job. He’s missed crucial votes, including on Tory universal credit cuts, to rake in extra cash running the line at football matches. It is time to blow the whistle on Tory sleaze.

“People in Scotland deserve better than this and Mr Ross must finally decide whether he wants to be an MP, MSP or full-time referee. By desperately clinging on to his Westminster seat, Mr Ross has scored an own goal.”

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