MORAY MP Douglas Ross has been named the leader of the Scottish Conservatives as no other challenger came forward before today’s deadline.

Those wanting to run for the position had to put themselves forward or be nominated by the requisite 100 members by 12pm to ensure a contest.

As no other candidate materialises Ross won the position by default.

Reacting to the news, Ross tweeted:"Becoming leader of the Scottish Conservatives today is the honour and privilege of a lifetime.

"Now our focus must turn to earning the trust of people looking for a positive and credible alternative for Scotland, and who want a fresh start for our country. I hope you'll join us."

Ross will take over from Jackson Carlaw, who resigned last week saying he was not “the person best placed” to lead the party into the Holyrood election.

Within minutes of Carlaw’s surprise announcement, there were rumours Ross would be running for the role.

READ MORE: A brief history of Scottish Tory leadership hopeful Douglas Ross's voting record

Ross has asked former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to represent the party at Holyrood until she moves on to her new role in the House of Lords next spring.

The Moray MP has said he will run in the Scottish Parliament election to once again become an MSP and lead his party from Holyrood rather than Westminster.

Ross previously represented the Highland and Islands region at Holyrood, before becoming an MP in 2017. He resigned as a Scotland Office minister earlier this year amid the row over Dominic Cummings’s lockdown trip to Durham and Barnard Castle.

The SNP said Ross is “Boris Johnson’s man in Scotland” after he claimed there will be no indyref2 because Nicola Sturgeon signed “agreement with the UK and Scottish governments that it would be once in a generation”.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross is not well-liked, whatever the Tories say

He was accused of “trying to rewrite history”. Sturgeon was indeed a signatory to the Edinburgh Agreement, which transferred power from Westminster to Holyrood to ensure the 2014 independence referendum was legally binding, but it did not set a time limit on further votes.

Ross’s voting record has come under fire in recent days, as people highlighted some of his Westminster activity.

He, alongside the other five Scottish Tory MPs, has voted down efforts to protect the NHS from foreign control after Brexit, amendments to give the devolved parliaments a say on post-Brexit trade deals and attempts to protect the UK food and farming sector from sub-standard imports after the UK leaves the EU.

Ross has also generally voted against transferring more powers to the Welsh and Scottish parliaments and introducing a proportional voting system at Westminster.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross ‘rewriting history’ with indyref2 claim

The Moray MP has consistently voted to bring in a stricter asylum system, and last year voted against permitting same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Since Ross announced his intention to run as Scottish Tory leader, his previous comments about “Gypsy Travellers” have also resurfaced in the papers.

Back 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.

Ross is also a qualified football referee and will be continuing to carry out this job now he is party leader.