Scottish Conservative leader has Douglas Ross has issued an apology on Sunday for missing a Victory Over Japan Day (VJ Day) event to work at a football match as a lineman.
Ross said he was wrong to oversee the Scottish Premiership game rather than attend a two-minute silence in his Moray constituency and did not ask to change the position after noticing a clash.
In a statement, the MP said he was selected to officiate at a game prior to being invited to the Forres VJ Day event and offered his apologies in advance due to not being able to attend.
"I had not anticipated there being an official VJ Day event given the current restrictions due to Covid, but when it became clear there was a conflict, I should have asked to be taken off my game", he said.
"I got this wrong and I apologise".
He also announced that he would be giving his match fee to Help for Heroes, a charity for armed service members.
I was selected to officiate a match before I was invited to the VJ Day event. But when it became clear there was a clash, I should have asked to be taken off my game. I got this wrong & I’m sorry. I’m donating my match fee to Help for Heroes who do so much to support our veterans pic.twitter.com/vD999CJQuR— Douglas Ross MP (@Douglas4Moray) August 16, 2020
The MP, who is also a qualified football referee, was a linesman for Kilmarnock and St Johnstone at Rugby Park.
The apology follows his absence being highlighted by the Sunday Mail front page, leading to criticism political opponents such as Labour MSP Neil Findlay who said that the incident "shows his appalling judgment and, frankly, his arrogance too".
Mr Ross ascended to the leadership of the Scottish Conservatives just 2-weeks ago following the resignation of Jackson Carlaw.
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 75th anniversary of VJ Day was commemorated across the country - the end of World War Two in the pacific and the surrender of Japan.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales led a two-minute silence at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Saturday.
Scottish crowds watched the Red Arrows over Ayrshire after the planned flyover above Edinburgh Castle was cancelled due to poor weather.