Steerpike

Will No. 10 forgive Douglas Ross?

Will No. 10 forgive Douglas Ross?
Boris Johnson and Douglas Ross in November, 2019 (Photo: Getty)
Text settings
Comments

In last year's Conservative leadership contest, Boris Johnson offered a hint of the style of management he would bring to the office of Prime Minister when he said his favourite moment in a film was the 'multiple retribution scene in The Godfather’. Since then, Johnson and his team have confirmed in their actions that they are a government that does not forget – or forgive – easily. 

So, how will this play out with Douglas Ross, the MP for Moray, who confirmed today that he plans to run to replace Jackson Carlaw, who resigned last night after concluding he was not up to the job? Number 10 will want an effective operator in the position as the government refocuses on maintaining the Union amidst rising support for independence in Scotland, with the Tories keen to prevent the SNP gaining an outright majority in next year’s Holyrood elections.  

However, while Ross – who is expected to remain as an MP until next year's Holyrood election – may have Ruth Davidson's backing, what about his relationship with Number 10? Ross was the only minister to resign from the government over Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham during lockdown. The MP, whose Parliamentary majority is only 687, appeared to share the concern of many ‘Red Wall’ MPs that support for Cummings staying on could cost him his marginal seat. His decision to resign came despite mass efforts from No. 10 and the Whips to get MPs to be supportive of Cummings.

Will No. 10 let bygones be bygones?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

Comments
Topics in this articlePolitics