DOUGLAS Ross has urged the Scottish Government to bring in the British Army to help with coronavirus testing in Aberdeen – despite the fact troops set up sites in the city four months ago.

The new Scottish Tory leader made the suggestion in his proposed economic recovery plan for Aberdeen, which is back under lockdown restrictions after a spike in cases.

In his second day in his new role, he urged Holyrood ministers to enlist the army in a bid to double testing in the city over the next week.

However, Ross was seemingly unaware that two testing units were set up in the city in April, though it was announced last month that the NHS would be take charge of the sites.

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SNP Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn said it “beggars belief” the new Scottish Tory chief was unaware mobile testing units are already set up.

He told the Press and Journal: “I hope that Douglas Ross will agree that such measures are absolutely essential – we can’t afford for the Treasury to cut support schemes whilst we are in the midst of a public health emergency.

“If Douglas Ross is genuine in his calls about supporting Aberdeen and ensuring a strong recovery, he will back the SNP’s repeated calls for his colleagues in Westminster to extend the furlough scheme into 2021, fix the gaps in support, and devolve key powers so that Scotland can get on with the job of an investment-led recovery.”

SNP MSP Gillian Martin added: “New Scottish Tory leader demands Army come to Aberdeen to aid coronavirus testing. Even though army units are already here. Finger...on...the...pulse!”

On his first day as Scottish Tory leader, Ross conceded defeat to the SNP at next year’s Holyrood election. However, in a separate interview filmed on the same day, he vowed to “oust Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister”.

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His five-point plan for Aberdeen includes financial support for businesses and workers who have lost out during the pandemic.

The Moray MP said: “The decision to reintroduce these measures was from a public health standpoint and it is vital that we work together to make sure Aberdeen is not left behind and local people are fully supported through this extremely difficult time that will have hit many businesses and workers hard.

“We must do all we can to keep jobs and businesses in Aberdeen safe and I urge the Scottish Government to take these proposals forward as soon as possible.”