Ross Thomson (born 21 September 1987) is a former Scottish Conservative Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Aberdeen South from June 2017 to November 2019. Thomson was the first Conservative MP elected for Aberdeen South since the 1992 general election. He was a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the North East Scotland region from May 2016 until June 2017. He was elected to Aberdeen City Council in the 2012 local elections.
Thomson in 2017
|Member of Parliament|
for Aberdeen South
8 June 2017 – 6 November 2019
|Preceded by||Callum McCaig|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Flynn|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament|
for North East Scotland
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
12 May 2016 – 13 June 2017
|Succeeded by||Tom Mason|
|Born||21 September 1987|
|Domestic partner||Douglas Mathewson (2013–2018)|
|Education||Bridge of Don Academy|
|Alma mater||University of Aberdeen|
Thomson was born in Aberdeen and educated locally at Bridge of Don Academy. He studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a first class MA (Hons) degree in 2009.
Prior to entering politics, Thomson worked as a store trainer for department store Debenhams.
He stood for the Scottish Parliament at the 2007 elections for the Coatbridge and Chryston constituency, coming third behind Labour MSP Elaine Smith and the Scottish National Party candidate. He was also third in Aberdeen Donside in 2011.
At the United Kingdom general election in 2010, Thomson was selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Scottish constituency of Gordon, and finished in fourth place, receiving 4,111 votes. He was the youngest Conservative Party candidate for the House of Commons.[better source needed] He was elected to the Aberdeen City Council at the 2012 Aberdeen City Council election.
Thomson contested the Aberdeen Donside by-election in 2013, finishing in fourth place. He stood as the Conservatives' candidate in Aberdeen South during the 2015 general election, but was unsuccessful, and subsequently stood in the Aberdeen South and North Kincardine constituency at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. Although the Scottish National Party's Maureen Watt retained the latter seat, Thomson was elected through the Additional Member System as one of the seven representatives of the North East Scotland region.
During his time as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, Thomson was the Scottish Conservative spokesperson for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, and sat on the Education and Skills Committee. Thomson also became a spokesman for Vote Leave in Scotland during the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum as one of the few members of the Scottish Parliament supporting a leave vote.
On 8 June 2017, Thomson became the Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South, defeating incumbent Callum McCaig, with 18,746 votes, a 19.3% swing and a majority of 4,752. He stood down from his seat as an MSP after being elected. Since entering the UK Parliament, Thomson has become known as a "hardline" supporter of Brexit.
In April 2018, Thomson was criticised for posts made on his private social media account whilst visiting Baghdad. Thomson was accused of trivialising the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein when he posed for photos at Hussein's military parade ground. A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: "Ross has already made clear he did not intend to cause any offence and apologises to anyone who has been upset."
Thomson entered into a civil partnership with a male partner in November 2013, which lasted until 2018.
On 29 November 2018, Callum Purdie was convicted at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of causing a disturbance at the constituency office of Thomson. The following month, Purdie, who was not one of Thomson's constituents, was ordered to stay away from Thomson's office and his staff for two years.
Sexual misconduct allegations
On 6 February 2019, various newspapers reported claims that Thomson had been escorted by police from the Strangers' Bar of the House of Commons the previous evening. Initial reports indicated that police had attended following reports of "sexual touching" of patrons by the MP. Eyewitnesses claimed that Thomson had repeatedly groped several young men also present in the bar, grabbing their bottoms and genitals. No prosecutions followed and a Conservative Party investigation is yet to conclude, but the Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards dismissed the complaint. Thomson denied any wrongdoing, citing the allegations as politically motivated.
On 3 November 2019 MP Paul Sweeney accused Thomson of sexual assault in the Strangers' Bar in October 2018. The same day Thomson announced that he would not stand for re-election as the Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South, denying the allegation and stating that it had made his life 'a living hell'. It later emerged that the chairman of Thomson's local Conservative Association had refused to sign the nomination papers to allow him to stand as a Conservative candidate in the December 2019 general election.
- "Ross Thomson MP". UK Parliament.
- "New Tory MPs quit Holyrood for Westminster". 13 June 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Candidate chosen for Aberdeen Donside by-election - Scottish Conservatives". Scottish Conservatives. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Aberdeen City Council Election 2012: Hazlehead/Ashley/Queen's Cross". STV News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Thomson, Ross". Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 13 February 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "About Ross | Councillor Ross Thomson: Scottish Conservatives". rossthomson.net. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- Ross, Thomson. "The Scottish Samurai Awards".
- "MSPs". 3 November 2010.
- "ConservativeHome's Seats & Candidates blog: Ross Thomson selected for Gordon".
- "Aberdeen South and North Kincardine - Scottish Parliament constituency - Election 2016". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "North East Scotland - Scottish Parliament electoral region - Election 2016". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Scottish Conservative appointments for new parliamentary term". Scottish Conservative Party. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "Membership". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Aberdeen to become base for EU leave team". Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "New MSPs join Vote Leave EU campaign". BBC News. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- "Tory MSP repays expenses after aide's hotel stay". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "North-east 'sends a message' as Ross Thomson takes Aberdeen seat - Evening Express". Evening Express. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- "Newly-elected Tory MPs quit Holyrood for Westminster". BBC News. 13 June 2017.
- "Scottish Tory MP Ross Thomson attacks May's Brexit plan". BBC News. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- "Tory MP should resign after 'channelling his inner dictator' on Iraq visit". Evening Times. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- "@RossThomson_Abz Brilliant performance from @BorisJohnson at the #LondonHustings". Twitter. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- "About Ross | Ross Thomson MSP". web.archive.org. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- Jaffray, Chris (30 November 2018). "Man found guilty of causing disturbance outside the office of Aberdeen South MP". The Press & Journal.
- Jaffray, Chris (11 December 2018). "Man who caused disturbance outside Aberdeen South MP's ordered to stay away from his office for two years". The Press & Journal.
- "Groping complaint against MP in Westminster bar 'dismissed'". The Times. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- "Aberdeen MP Ross Thomson 'removed' from Commons bar by police". The Scotsman. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "Scottish Tory MP 'removed from Westminster bar by police'". The National. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "Aberdeen MP Ross Thomson 'removed from Westminster pub by police'". The Herald. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "Ross Thomson: Tory MP accused of groping Labour MP to step down at general election". independent.co.uk. The Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- "Tory MP Ross Thomson quits after 'grope' claim by Labour MP Paul Sweeney". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- "Tory MP Ross Thomson stands down after Labour MP alleges sexual assault in Commons bar". telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph. Retrieved 3 November 2019.