Party scandal

Ross belittled by Tory Cabinet ministers in party row

Douglas Ross: called for PM to resign (pic: Terry Murden)

Douglas Ross was last night criticism by senior figures in his own party after becoming the first Scottish Conservative leader to call for a Tory Prime Minister to resign.

UK Cabinet ministers turned on Mr Ross who said Boris Johnson’s position had become untenable after he admitted attending a garden party at Downing Street at the height of lockdown.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, accused Mr Ross of being a “lightweight”, though he inaccurately suggested that the Scottish leader had “never supported the prime minister”. Mr Ross backed Mr Johnson is the 2019 leadership contest.

Speaking on LBC Radio, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I don’t think Douglas Ross is a big figure. I think Alister Jack [the Scottish secretary] is a really serious and senior figure.

“He [Ross] has been constantly in opposition to the prime minister, against Brexit; he is not somebody you would expect to say helpful things about the prime minister.”

During a television interview he said : “Douglas Ross has always been a lightweight figure”.

Michael Gove, the minister for levelling up and also a Scot, also took aim at Mr Ross: “My instant response is he’s in Elgin and the national Tory leader is in London,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alister Jack continues to remain silent on the affair.

Sources have said that during Mr Ross’s 15-minute telephone call with Mr Johnson, the Prime Minister refused to guarantee that no more revelations would emerge.

A YouGov poll has revealed the scale of the damage being suffered by the government, showing the Tories slumping five points to just 28 per cent in less than a week.

Meanwhile Labour has crept up to 38% – the party’s biggest advantage since 2013. On an even swing across the country at an election, the figures would see the Conservatives lose 150 seats and put Sir Keir Starmer in No10. 

See also: Commons in uproar

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