NEW Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross says he will quit as a football official if he becomes first minister next year.

The Moray MP, who took the post this week after no challengers put their name forward, was the assistant referee in the 2015 Scottish Cup Final and has overseen a number of games in European competition.

However, he said that should he take over from Nicola Sturgeon, his presence at football matches would cause too many problems for matchday policing staff.

"I've made it clear I want to continue refereeing, however, that is something that I plan to do as leader of the Scottish Conservatives," he said.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross concedes defeat to SNP on first day as Scottish Tory leader

"I can officially announce that if I am elected first minister of Scotland, much to the great delight of football fans across Scotland - and this may help me get to that ultimate office - then I would give up refereeing as first minister."

He continued: "In my view, enough pressure is on the clubs, match commanders and police to ensure everything is done as safely as possible in our stadiums.

"I think an added element of potentially one of the match officials being first minister of Scotland does add unnecessary strain to an already hostile and difficult environment.

"I think it would make sense at that stage for me to hang up my boots."

The former MSP will be looking to reclaim his former Highlands and Islands regional seat at May's election, and has asked former leader Ruth Davidson to stand in for him at First Minister's Questions in his absence.

Ross is scheduled to be the assistant referee during Sunday's game between Rangers and St Mirren at Ibrox.

His bold prediction comes after he was accused of conceding defeat to the SNP by promising to provide strong “opposition” after winning his new role.