DOUGLAS Ross has refused to say he would withdraw from the election contest if found guilty of breaking MP expenses rules.

Concerns have been raised by the Scottish Tory leader’s advisers over 28 parliamentary travel claims which may have been combined with his work as a linesman.

It came after Ross controversially replaced David Duguid as candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East.

Ross has since said he will step down as leader of his party after the election and quit as an MSP if he is elected to Westminster.

But when questioned over whether he would back out of the contest if he was found to have breached expenses policy by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), he refused to clarify his intentions.

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However, he insisted he had gone through all 28 claims and doubled checked they were all legitimate.

Asked if he would step back from the campaign if found guilty, he told reporters in Edinburgh: “They [Ipsa] are an independent body, I am going to wait to hear from them and answer any questions if they have any questions but I’m very comfortable the claims I have made have been in line with my duties as a member of Parliament.”

Ipsa has said it is reviewing the complaints but no investigation has yet been launched.

Under UK parliamentary rules, MPs can only claim travel from their home airport.

Ross denied that a £48.99 parking fee he claimed for on the day he refereed a Celtic game in November 2020 was linked to anything other than his duties as an MP.

There are also questions over a £58 parking fee he claimed for at Inverness Airport when Parliament was in recess in July 2018.

He went on: “Sometimes I travel from Inverness, sometimes I travel from Aberdeen, but they are always in line with getting to and from the House of Commons.

“All I can say is I have claimed expenses in my role as an MP in getting to and from Westminster. How I get to and from Westminster changes. IPSA can and will I’m sure scrutinise this in the normal way.”

Ross also dodged the question when he was asked by The National if he would step down as an MSP now rather than after the election if he gets his seat in order to give constituents his full attention during the campaign.

Asked whether he felt it was better to step down from Holyrood now and put his full effort into his campaign, he said: “I’m standing as the candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East and I’m urging people and hoping people will unite behind me to beat the SNP, end their obsession with independence, and get the focus onto the issues that really matter and the people of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East know if they vote for me as their MP that I will step down from my other roles and focus on the issues that matter.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross in clash with BBC presenter over leaving Holyrood

“My full energy is in the campaign for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East and across the rest of the country, I’ve made that very clear.”

Ross added the last few days had been “very challenging” for his party and were “not good enough”.

Duguid was told by the party’s management board he could not stand due to ill health, with Ross stepping in at the last minute.

He said: “It’s been a very challenging few days and I’m not trying to ignore that or run away from that.”

Ross confirmed he had been in contact with Duguid by text but when he offered to speak to him in person, Duguid had said he would “prefer to text as we did”.