THE London-based candidate lined up to replace Douglas Ross as a Highlands and Islands MSP should he resign his seat has said she will not accept the position.

It comes after Ross said that if he wins a Westminster seat in the new Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency, he will quit his role in the Scottish Parliament.

As an MSP elected on a regional list, Ross would be replaced by the next person listed by the Conservatives in the Highlands and Islands area in the 2021 Holyrood election: Ella Robertson McKay.

However, Robertson McKay has said she had agreed with the Scottish Tories that now she is based in London full-time it would not be appropriate for her to accept the seat.

“We all agreed it wouldn’t be for the best,” she said.

Robertson McKay, who works as the managing director of the One Young World charity which her mother co-founded, said she had agreed she would not take the seat last year and reconfirmed that would be the case after Ross’s resignation announcement on Monday.

Robertson McKay told The National: “At the end of last year I agreed with the Scottish Conservative Party that, as I am now based in London full time, I would not be pursuing a Scottish seat and have confirmed with them that this is still the case.

“Therefore I would not be replacing Douglas were he to resign from Holyrood. I wish all the MSPs for the Highlands and Islands the very best of luck.”

If Ross resigns as an MSP, he is instead set to be replaced by Struan Mackie, a Tory councillor for Thurso and Northwest Caithness.

According to his Facebook page, Mackie is currently on his honeymoon so The National has been unable to contact him for comment.

(Image: Struan Mackie/Facebook)

Ross may yet stay on as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands if he fails in his bid to be elected to Westminster, a position for which he has faced stiff criticism.

The Scottish Tory leader has said he will resign from his position at the head of his group regardless of the result of the General Election on July 4.

Ross was forced to quit after U-turning on his pledge not to run for Westminster and instead taking the candidacy in a seat where local campaigners had already chosen David Duguid.

The Scottish Tories’ management board, on which Ross sits, deselected Duguid, who is currently in hospital.

Amid the backlash, allegations of improper use of expenses against Ross were reported in the Sunday Mail over the weekend, leaked from within his own party.

The SNP have called for a “swift” probe into any suggestions Ross may have used public funds to pay for expenses accrued while refereeing.

Ross has declined to say that he would not run for Westminster again if he was found to have broken any rules.