Douglas Ross has insisted that “we all have to get behind the Prime Minister” after Liz Truss sacked her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and U-turned on her corporation tax plans.
In a press conference at Downing Street on Friday, Truss confirmed that she would not ditch the proposals outlined by the previous government to raise corporation tax to 25%.
It is despite having pledged during the Conservative leadership contest that she would not proceed with the increase and would instead keep the tax at 19%.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt was named as Kwarteng’s predecessor at No 11 Downing Street.
Speaking to STV News, Ross said that the Prime Minister had listened to the concerns raised.
The Scottish Conservative leader also rejected suggestions that Truss should resign from No 10.
“No, she shouldn’t. I think we all have to get behind the Prime Minister,” said Ross when asked if Truss should go.
“Clearly, she wants to see growth across the United Kingdom – I want to see that, we all want to see that because if we can grow our economy, there’s more money to support people right up and down the country.
“That’s vital going forward, but the Prime Minister has also listened to the concerns that have been raised and the response that we’ve seen to the mini-budget.
“And she’s taken these big decisions to go back on what she had planned because clearly continuing down that path would not have brought stability back to the markets and the economy that is so urgent at the moment to help people with rising bills.”
He added: “Yes, there’s political implications here but for me, the most important thing for local constituents here in Moray and for people across Scotland and the UK, is to help people through this very difficult time.”
The Scottish Conservative leader said he “presumed” more had done behind the scenes to prepare the markets for the changes announced in the mini-budget.
“I supported the budget because it was designed to improve growth across the United Kingdom,” he said.
“I presumed that more had been done behind the scenes to prepare the markets, to make sure all the sums added up and the Prime Minister herself has accepted that didn’t happen.
“And it’s right therefore that she has altered what the plans were and has brought in a new chancellor to hopefully restore confidence, to drive forward the growth that we can make in the economy but also to help people who are struggling at the moment.”
Ross underlined the need for stability in the economy and in the markets, as he dismissed talk of a change in leadership.
“I’ve spoken with the Prime Minister and the former chancellor this week and they accept the errors that have been made, but I have confidence that we need to get behind the Prime Minister, show a united front because we need stability right now,” he said.
“We need stability in the economy, stability in the markets and I think any talk about change will simply take away the confidence that we are trying to restore in the economy to get people’s bills down, to get their mortgages down and to help people up and down the country.”
The MP for Moray also backed the appointment of Hunt as chancellor.
He said: “I think bringing in Jeremy Hunt as the new chancellor is a big move, he was a strong backer of Rishi Sunak, he has served very senior levels in government previously.
“He’s got a proven track record and I think we’ve seen already from the response that that is a very positive announcement, a positive change in the Cabinet and we need to see more of that in terms of getting this stability restored.”