Soccer referee seeks to send off senior Scottish nationalist in UK election

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 25, 2017 8:10 AM

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A lawmaker from Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party who works as a soccer referee is seeking to send off one of the leading lights of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) in the United Kingdom's June 8 election.

Douglas Ross, who twins national and international soccer fixtures as a professional linesman and referee with his job as a Scottish lawmaker, said he was selected to run for the seat currently held by Angus Robertson, who leads the Scottish nationalist's party in the Westminster parliament.

Ross, a linesman in the Scottish Cup semi-final between Rangers and Celtic last weekend, said May's snap election would not pave the way for a second Scottish independence referendum despite Robertson's repeated calls for a new vote.

"This election, while earlier than many anticipated, does not move the goalposts on a second independence referendum," Ross said in a column in Aberdeen's Press & Journal newspaper.

May has told Scottish nationalists that now is not the time for a second independence referendum.

The Conservatives are hoping for an upset in Moray, despite Robertson's 9,000 majority, because it voted to keep its EU membership by just 122 votes in last year's referendum on European Union membership.

The June 23 ballot on Brexit called the future of the United Kingdom into question because England and Wales voted to leave but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.

(Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary)