A Trussell Trust foodbank. Photo credit: Newfrontiers via photopin cc

The SNP have called on Tory MP Douglas Ross to donate the money he earned at last night’s Champion’s League match to his local food bank.

Serial absentee Douglas Ross, the “part-time” Tory MP for Moray, has been criticised by the Moray food bank and cross-party MPs for ditching his parliamentary duties yet again, and leaving his constituents without a voice or vote on the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit – which has driven many people across Scotland into poverty, debt and destitution.

The Chair of the local foodbank said they felt “let down” after taking the time to brief the MP on the damaging impact of Universal Credit – which was partially rolled out in Moray in November 2015, and has seen people forced to rely on emergency aid and food parcels.

Mr Ross’ Register of Interests show that the last time he was an assistant referee in a European match, he declared more than £1400 in earnings.

Commenting SNP MP Drew Hendry said: “If Douglas Ross had turned up to the Universal Credit debate on Wednesday, he would have heard countless politicians, from all parties, relate harrowing stories from their constituents being driven into hardship, hunger and rent arrears by the botched roll-out of Universal Credit – but he thought his time was better-spent rubbing shoulders with big-name footballers and raking in lucrative earnings from his second job.

“Ironically, if Mr Ross was himself a DWP client, he would likely have been sanctioned for his behaviour on Wednesday.

“He should apologise and sanction himself by donating the money he earned to his local foodbank, which some of his constituents are having to rely on because of his party’s cruel policies.

“Tory MPs have never looked and sounded so out of touch with reality as they did in the debate over Universal Credit – and it is shameful that even among those who bothered to turn up to parliament, not a single Scottish Tory MP stood up for their constituents by opposing the disastrous roll-out.

“The Tory government must now call a halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit, and serial absentee Douglas Ross must call time on his highly lucrative refereeing career – which he previously pledged would not interfere with parliamentary duties.”