Douglas Ross missed vote to referee Champions League match
A Scots Tory MP who missed the universal credit vote to referee a Champions League match last Wednesday has been challenged to donate his fee to a foodbank.
Moray MP Douglas Ross – who has been dubbed a serial absentee from the Commons – was roundly criticised by his local foodbank as well as fellow MPs for ditching his parliamentary duties and leaving his constituents without a voice or vote on the disastrous roll-out of universal credit.
He decided to officiate on a Barcelona game in the Nou Camp stadium, Spain, instead for which it is estimated he would receive a fee of nearly £1,500.
The chair of the local foodbank Cathy Ross said they felt “let down” after taking the time to brief the MP on the damaging impact of the controversial new system – which was partially rolled out in Moray in November 2015, and has seen people forced to rely on emergency aid and food parcels.
She said: "Having been clear about the impact on constituents, and having received the message that Douglas was interested and willing to hear more, I really felt quite let down [when I heard he was not going to be at the debate].
"Both for us as an organisation trying to influence change, but in particular for the people in Moray we are trying to help and support, who will not have representation in Westminster, or clarity about where their MP stands on the issue."
Drew Hendry, an SNP MP, said Ross should put his constituents first in future.
“The time has arrived for Douglas Ross to choose between properly representing his constituents or continuing as a referee,” he said.
“It is one thing for parliamentarians to have outside interests - it is quite another for them to so blatantly ignore their parliamentary duties.
“This week saw an important debate on Universal Credit - an issue that directly affects people in the Highlands. And yet the MP for Moray thought it was more important to run around waving a flag in Barcelona.
“Douglas Ross is a part-timer whose behaviour is inexcusable. He is treating his constituents with utter contempt.”
Ross is no stranger to controversy. In August the Moray MP was berated for negative comments made against gypsy travellers.
In a YouTube video he said he would take tougher measures against the community if he became prime minister. He also said they “flout local planning procedures”.