The Moray councillor removed by his colleagues from the ruling Tory/Independent administration group has hit back at the manner of his sacking.
Douglas Ross has insisted that he will retain his position as Chair of the key Planning and Regulatory Services Committee until he is removed by a meeting of the Full Council next month.
That will mean Ross will be at the helm when his committee meets this week.
The £8.5million roads plan has been the subject of heated debate for several years, with Councillor Ross having been behind several moves already to block the plans.
One of the leaders in the campaign against the road – which the council say is essential to meet the future needs of Elgin – has said that changing the chair of the committee just days before the hearing would have been “ridiculous”.
Councillor Ross, who was back at his desk after officiating in a Europa League match, told the Press and Journal: “The press release announcing that I was to be fired came out while I was flying from Seville to Madrid.
“By the time I arrived I had already had calls from constituents and the media. It made it very difficult for me to respond – I thought it was an underhand way of doing business.”
Councillor Ross dismissed claims that he had been plotting against the Leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, adding: “So far, there has been no proof that I have done that and I’m confident there will not be.”
Ross said that he had been moved by the support he has received, saying he was “humbled” by the expressions of support directly and through social media – and insisted that despite losing his job over his stance on school closure plans it was “the right thing to do”.
The Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor insisted that he would remain as chair of the planning committee until the Full Council meeting on December 17.