Tory MP to miss debate as he runs line in Barcelona game

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Douglas Ross, of the Conservative Party, is set to be a linesman during Barca's Champions League clash with Olympiacos

A Conservative Member of Parliament will be a linesman at Barcelona’s Champions League match against Olympiacos on Wednesday.

Douglas Ross, MP for Moray in Scotland, will not be present at a debate and vote on Labour’s motion to have the rollout of the controversial Universal Credit scheme postponed.

The debate will get underway at 7pm UK time, but Ross will begin running the line at Camp Nou 45 minutes later as Barca attempt to continue their perfect start to their European campaign.

The Conservatives have insisted that Ross holds the support of his constituency, having won the seat in the 2017 General Election.

"The people of Moray are right behind Douglas, as they showed when they elected him as their MP just a few months ago,” a statement read.

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Ross has officiated previous European matches, and has declared over £2,700 in earnings for his work. That figure includes payment for a Europa League tie between NK Domzale and Marseille, which ended 1-1.

SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson, a political rival of Mr Ross, has criticised his decision to head to Spain, telling the Daily Record: “Part-time Tory MP Douglas Ross is yet again leaving his constituents without a voice in Parliament because he’d rather rub shoulders with famous footballers.”

Barcelona beat Juventus 3-0 in their opening game of the Champions League season, and followed that up with a 1-0 victory over Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

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