Ross: I was one of the first to say PM's position was untenable

The Scots Tory leader said Boris Johnson 'has to reflect' on the result of the no confidence vote.

Douglas Ross insists he has been consistent in saying that the actions of Boris Johnson were wrong in his breaking of lockdown rules.

However, despite voting against the Prime Minister in Monday’s motion of no confidence, he admits it was not the timing that he would have chosen for such a vote to be held.

Ross was among early senior figures in the Conservative Party to have called for Johnson to resign earlier this year.

But, he withdrew his letter to the 1922 Committee after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March.

And he did not resubmit the letter, despite several of his colleagues openly criticising the leadership of the Prime Minister as they called for him to go.

Speaking to STV News, Ross explained that he was faced with a choice following the actions of his Westminster colleagues in submitting their letters.

And having listened to his constituents in Moray, as well as people across Scotland, he concluded that he could not continue to support Johnson remaining in office.

“I was one of the first to say that the Prime Minister’s position was untenable,” he told STV News.

“I believed his actions were unacceptable and I have been consistent in terms of saying the Prime Minister was wrong with what he did breaking the rules that he set, I’ve never tried to defend that.

“But what changed for me was war in Europe and the outbreak of war in Ukraine and Russians invading and murdering innocent people in Ukraine.”

He continued: “It is still going on and that’s why yesterday’s vote would not have been my timing.

“That wouldn’t have been the timing of the vote that I would have called for, that’s why I didn’t resubmit my letter to the 1922 Committee.

“But when 15% or perhaps more of my colleagues did submit letters, then I was faced with a choice that 359 Conservative MPs were faced with last night.

“And I had to look at what constituents were telling me in Moray, what people across Scotland were saying to me, and I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t continue to support the Prime Minister and I had to vote that I didn’t have confidence in him.”

Ross indicated that Johnson should “reflect” on the result of the vote, which saw 148 MPs vote no confidence in him.

But, he was not drawn on the timing for the Prime Minister to step down, as he set out his belief that a snap general election will not be held soon.

He said: “I think the Prime Minister will be looking at that very closely with his colleagues and his advisors at the moment.

“Because this is, I believe, one of the biggest votes against a Prime Minister in a no confidence motion since this new process has been brought forward.”

Ross added: “It’s very difficult, but I think the Prime Minister has to reflect on last night’s result.”

Sturgeon: UK is saddled with lame duck PM

Nicola Sturgeon told STV News that the Conservative Party wasted the chance to remove a Prime Minister without “a shred of integrity” from office.

“I think it’s time Boris Johnson moved on and moved out of Downing Street,” she said.

“The Tories fluffed their opportunity yesterday to do the right thing by the country and get rid of a Prime Minister who has no credibility left.

“That’s left them with the worst of all worlds.

“But more importantly, it is saddling the UK at a time of enormous challenges with a lame duck Prime Minister.

“And for Scotland, it really does underline that democratic deficit.

“We now have the situation where the Prime Minister has the confidence of only two of 59 Scottish MPs, which really does remind us of the way in which the Westminster system allowing somebody like Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister is failing and letting down people across Scotland.

“If Boris Johnson had a shred of integrity, he would have resigned today.

“But I think by now we know that integrity is not one of the attributes that Boris Johnson has.”

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