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Scottish MP Faces The Boot After Officiating Champions League Match

Scottish MP Faces The Boot After Officiating Champions League Match
By Darren Holland Updated

We've all wrestled with our conscience at times when we had to decide between work or sports - as was the case for MSP, Douglas Ross, who is now facing calls to resign after officiating a Champions League match.

The Scottish Conservative Party member disregarded his duty as a politician by attending Sporting Lisbon's clash with Real Madrid midweek. As a result, Mr.Ross - the shadow cabinet's secretary of justice - was not present at a vital justice committee meeting.

While sports fans may find it hard to begrudge Minister Ross, his actions have ruffled a few feathers in Parliament. SNP MSP Ben McPherson released a pun-heavy statement on the issue.

Last time the whistle was blown on one of his refereeing junkets the Tories claimed it was just a 'one off'. But he's at it again - and this time it should be a straight red card.

Obviously he values his £40k-a-year weekend job - and all-expenses paid trips to Lisbon and other European cities - more than his responsibilities as an MSP and local councillor, demonstrating complete contempt for the people who elected him.

If Douglas Ross can't pitch up to do his job, it's time for relegation - he should either take a step back from refereeing or stand down from Holyrood's justice committee with immediate effect, and Ruth Davidson should give him the boot from her frontbench team.

It is not the first time that Douglas Ross has came under scrutiny for choosing the pitch over politics. In September, he attended a five-day refereeing course in Switzerland while committee meetings and parliamentary votes were ongoing regarding the closure of Ministry of Defence votes.

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Despite the controversy, Ross said he will continue to referee in the future. And in fairness, for forty grand a year, why wouldn't he?

I have never hidden the fact I am a referee and that I can be appointed to matches across the world.

I’m not making excuses, I missed a committee meeting at parliament and understand why some people thought this was wrong.


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