Should the Scottish Conservatives break away from the UK party?

Future of the party north of the border being debated after fallout between leaders.

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The future of the Scottish Conservatives has been put into sharp focus after leader Douglas Ross called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.

That has led to fresh calls for the party to split from the UK Tories and form their own entity.

Whether that will or should happen was the subject of debate on STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight.

Here’s what former Conservative MP Peter Duncan and The National journalist Shona Craven had to say.

‘It’s inevitable’

Peter Duncan: “This is a discussion that’s been running for probably longer than 20 years.

“I take the view and have done for over a decade that it was always going to be an inevitable consequence of devolution.

“There is a lot of conversation about it just now. The Douglas Ross, Boris Johnson spat has only made it more likely, in my view. The only question is whether it happens in the short term, or how much more damage is inflicted over the coming months and years if it’s delayed further.

“I think there are some disagreements still. There is not yet quite a consensus on exactly what form that increased distance means, so I think the next few weeks and months will help thrash that out internally.

“But I think this is inevitable. It was always going to happen and, for the centre-right cause in Scotland, the sooner it happens, the better.”

‘Temporary problem’

Shona Craven: “What sort of message does that really send about sort of common interests and common political orientations throughout the UK?

“It’s an interesting one because when Murdo Fraser suggested this back in 2011, he wasn’t the frontrunner. It was Ruth Davidson who was expected to win, and did win the leadership.

“And so I suppose it seemed like a slightly niche idea, whereas now it’s very much to the forefront.

“But I wonder if the Scottish Tories would see that as a permanent solution to what I think everyone agrees is a temporary problem; Boris Johnson and those around him.

“They will also be waiting for the Sue Gray report, not to see what it says, but to see what the domino effect is going to be. Are there going to be resignations? Is Boris Johnson going to go? And, if so, can Douglas Ross breathe a sigh of relief?”