DOUGLAS Ross is rumoured to be the favourite to take over Jackson Carlaw as Scottish Conservative leader.

But the Tory MP has had his fair share of scandals.

In February Ross, who represents Moray, blasted after he refused a TV debate on his government’s derided immigration plans to referee a football match in Ukraine.

And in 2017 he came under fire for saying a crackdown of Gypsies and Travellers would be his number one priority if he were prime minister for a day.

The comments sparked outcry from anti-racism campaigners and provoked strong public condemnation.

Ross insisted that the issue of illegal camps was an important one which people should not shy away from debating but told the BBC he did not have time to provide context in a "quick-fire interview".

READ MORE: Moray councillors reject call to condemn anti-gypsy Tory MP Douglas Ross

It has been reported that Ruth Davidson and John Lamont are backing Ross to take on Carlaw's role.

It is believed Ross could be placed top of his party’s regional list in the Highland and Islands to secure a place in the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Who is Douglas Ross, the Tory MP rumoured to replace Jackson Carlaw?

In a statement, Carlaw said: "Over the summer I have had the chance to think hard about my role as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

"Nothing is more important to me than making the case for Scotland's place in the United Kingdom.

“I believe the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party is the most important voice in Scotland for setting out that positive argument. I am clear that nothing must get in the way of doing so.

"In the last few weeks, I have reached a simple if painful conclusion – that I am not, in the present circumstances, the person best placed to lead that case over these next vital months in Scottish politics prior to the Holyrood elections. Given the importance I attach to the job, I've therefore decided to stand down with immediate effect."

READ MORE: Jackson Carlaw resigns as leader of the Scottish Conservatives