Douglas ross

Tory MPs play leadership hokey cokey

It’s groundhog day in Westminster, where the leaked images of a No. 10 leaving party have prompted the re-emergence of some of the Prime Minister’s most vocal yet indecisive critics. Cometh the hour, cometh the carpers as veteran Sir Roger Gale and Scottish satrap Douglas Ross returned to their familiar place in the headlines yesterday by attacking Boris Johnson once again. Mr S would have much more sympathy with both Gale and Ross if they both didn’t seem to keep changing their minds on Johnson’s future.  Take Sir Roger – a veteran backbencher and longtime Boris-basher. He submitted a letter of no-confidence in the PM to 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady as far back as May 2020

Scottish Tories get the knives out

All is not well within the Conservative party north of the border this morning. Counting the votes hasn’t even started yet but already the Scottish Tories have pre-emptively begun deciding who’s to blame for the looming electoral losses. Senior figures within the party expect ‘heavy losses’ and are preparing to slip into third place: unnamed sources are going around suggesting Boris is to blame, with unionist voters refusing to turn out in protest against the No. 10 lockdown parties. Not all within the Scottish party are content to play this game. Former MSP Adam Tomkins, a widely-respected academic who stood down from Holyrood last May, has pointed out that the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross

Boris vs the Scottish Tories

As the Foreign Secretary warns an invasion of Ukraine by Russia could be ‘imminent’, Boris Johnson has been spending the day on a ‘Levelling Up’ tour in a bid to get his premiership back on track. The stops include both the North of England and Scotland. For the latter part, the Prime Minister today visited Rosyth Dockyard where new Royal Navy warships are under construction.  Only Johnson cut a rather lonely figure — with no Scottish Conservatives coming out to meet him. While his long time ally Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, is simply away so unable to join, for others it appears to be more personal. The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross was absent today. He

Split loyalties for Scottish Tories

You have to feel for the Scottish Conservatives. The current No. 10 dramas have placed them all in an invidious position, following Douglas Ross’s call yesterday for Boris Johnson to resign over partygate. Ross of course is the Scottish Conservative leader, with seats in the parliaments of both Westminster and Scotland. This means that every Tory north of the border now faces a difficult question: which leader do you agree with? Nearly all of Ross’s colleagues at Holyrood agree that Johnson needs to go, with 27 of the 31 (including Ross himself) demanding the PM resign. The four exceptions are Pam Gosal, Dean Lockhart, Oliver Mundell and Graham Simpson, who have thus far refused

There’s nothing dodgy about Douglas Ross’s three jobs

At the risk of talking down a good, old-fashioned political scandal, suggestions that Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has become embroiled in the Westminster sleaze row deserve a sizeable question mark over them. The Moray MP referred himself to the parliamentary standards commissioner after failing to declare income. Given the scrutiny that other Tory MPs are coming under, it is only natural that this news would be greeted with glee by opponents and journalists — and no doubt some sharp eyebrow-raising by the electors of Moray. The errors have only come to light because Ross discovered them and reported himself to the standards commissioner Alas, the details are pretty mundane.

How Nicola Sturgeon lost the leaders’ debate

I’m not sure anyone won the first leaders debate of the Holyrood election but Nicola Sturgeon definitely lost it. The SNP leader spent more than an hour on the defensive, first from voters, who joined via Zoom to harangue her for prioritising a second independence referendum during a pandemic, and then by the opposition leaders, who tore into her record on health and education. She has been running Scotland, either solo or in tandem with Alex Salmond, for 14 years now and there is the slimmest chance the public is starting to notice she’s not very good at it. Sturgeon handled neither the interrogations from the audience nor those from

Scottish Tories must be more than the party of no

Among the many challenges facing Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has been the question of definition. It is difficult to define yourself in the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. When, on top of this, your seat is in Westminster, and not the devolved parliament on which the Scottish media focuses their resources and priorities, it’s harder still to penetrate the public consciousness. No matter how often you try to get yourself in front of a TV camera, you can still feel like the Invisible Man. Ross used his speech to the Scottish Conservative conference to narrate who he is and what he believes. There

Scottish Tories are wrong to oppose voting for prisoners

The Scottish Tories don’t mean to be the way they are. Sometimes they just can’t help it. They are being that way again over plans to let some prisoners vote in the forthcoming Scottish parliament elections. I am not convinced those elections should be going ahead at all in the middle of a pandemic but, if they are to, there are good reasons for prisoners to be enfranchised. The Tories intend to force a vote at Holyrood on Wednesday against allowing those serving custodial sentences of less than 12 months to participate in the May 6 election. MSPs voted last February to extend the franchise in order to comply with