DOUGLAS Ross has responded to the use of an expletive-laden banner held up by Celtic fans at Saturday's Scottish Cup clash.

Ross, the MP for Moray and MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, was running the line at the fifth-round tie at Parkhead when the home side took the lead in the 16th minute through Daizen Maeda, with the restart momentarily delayed for a VAR check.

The Green Brigade group unfurled a large banner as the opening goal of the game was checked.


The National: Douglas Ross looks at the bannerDouglas Ross looks at the banner (Image: Twitter)

The Scottish Tory leader and part-time linesman broke his silence on Monday, saying: "Look I saw the banner being unveiled, I don’t think anybody couldn’t see it given the size it was. My duty at Celtic Park was to run the line, to be an assistant referee, to support the referee team and that’s where my focus was for the entire 90 minutes.

"Look, others are looking into this. My focus during the 90 minutes is to get my decisions right and I’m just glad on the day my decisions were correct and we had a good Scottish Cup Tie.

"Ultimately my focus is on the pitch and others can make comments about my role as a referee and as a politician, but for 90 minutes my focus is on the football."

It comes as Ross is being urged to publish more of his tax returns. He has published his tax return for the year 2021-22, which showed he earned £72,821 as the MP for Moray.

The document also revealed he received £17,223 for his role as a Highlands and Islands MSP.

MSPs who hold a “dual mandate” by also having a seat at Westminster only receive a third of the full MSP salary – with the amount Ross received slightly less than that as he was not elected to Holyrood till May of 2021, just over a month after the tax year began in April.

He did not earn any money as an assistant referee that year, as an injury prevented him officiating at any matches.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross won't quit his third job as a referee despite finances row

In 2021, Ross was exposed for not declaring £7000 worth of earnings from 16 games and was forced to apologise for forgetting to register a 17th game where he was paid £445.

The MP and MSP did however remember to claim for almost £93 on the same day through his MP expenses.