DOUGLAS ROSS HAS spoken of his voting alongside the SNP this week in support of women who are being treated unfairly over their pension rights – and indicated that he is looking forward to repeating the exercise.
The Moray MP spoke in the opposition day motion this week at the end of which he was one of just five Conservative MPs who supported the motion calling on transitional arrangements for WASPI members affected by the pension changes.
Following the vote Mr Ross said: “I am a Scottish Conservative MP and will most of the time vote with the Government I was elected to be part of as Moray’s MP.
“But I also make a clear and unambiguous pledge to support women in Moray who have been affected by the changes to state pensions. These women have been let down by all the parties through successive Governments – but this week’s vote allowed me to show my full support for the campaign in the first vote on this matter we have had since my election.”
Mr Ross said that he was aware some opponents still believed his being pictured supporting Moray WASPI in May was an “election ploy” that he would renege on.
He continued: “While I’m certain the Moray WASPI group would not have allowed me to get away with this, I also think actions speak louder than words which is why I went through the voting lobby with my political opponents because on this issue I share their belief that something must be done.”
The MP’s rapid rise from Moray Council to the Scottish Parliament and now the UK Parliament has not dimmed his determination to vote against his own party if he believes it the right thing to do.
He said: “It’s never easy to vote against your colleagues and party, and particularly for a relatively new MP still learning the ropes at Westminster. And while some senior party figures would have preferred it if I had abstained, I was only ever going to do one thing – and that was to follow through on the promise I made to the more than 6000 women in Moray affected by this.
“While this week’s debate was very constrained in terms of the time to speak, in two weeks we have another opportunity to discuss this in Parliament and I look forward to once again putting the case for Moray WASPI women to the House of Commons.”