SNP calls on Douglas Ross to resubmit letter of no confidence if Boris Johnson is fined for Covid parties
The Scottish Conservative leader previously called on Boris Johnson to resign in January, saying his position was "no longer tenable". However, he withdrew his 1922 letter six weeks later, citing the international crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as reason.
Earlier this week, the Metropolitan Police confirmed they would issue 20 fixed penalty notices to individuals who were found to have broken lockdown rules at parties held in Downing Street.
The police will not name the 20 individuals, however, Downing Street has said it would say if the Prime Minister receives a fine.
SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said the Scottish Tory leader “will destroy the final shred of dignity or credibility he has left” if he does not resubmit his letter in a situation where Mr Johnson is found to have broken the law.
Mr Gibson said: “Douglas Ross must call for Boris Johnson to resign if the PM is issued a fine by the Met Police for breaking the very laws that he set.”
The MSP for Cunninghame North accused Mr Johnson of not being fit to the role of Prime Minister “at any time", but said: “it would be an affront to democracy if the PM breaks the law and is not expected to resign.”
He continued: “Having marched his Holyrood group up to the top of the hill demanding Boris Johnson’s resignation, he [Ross] will leave himself and his MSPs looking utterly ridiculous, and will find he is a lame duck leader, on borrowed time as head of the Tory branch office in Scotland.
Almost all of the Scottish Conservative MSPs joined Mr Ross in calling for the Prime Minister to resign over partygate.
Mr Gibson added: “He will be telling the people of Scotland that saving the Prime Minister’s skin is more important than their sacrifices over the past two years to keep friends and family safe by following the same rules Johnson and his Downing Street staff so blatantly flouted.
A Scottish Conservative spokesman for Mr Ross said “those who have broken the law have received the appropriate punishment for their actions”.
He said: “We made our feelings clear at the time and we fully understand the public’s anger. However, the current global crisis is bigger than any disagreements we have had.
“In the middle of war in Europe and the crisis in Ukraine, destabilising the UK government would only help Vladimir Putin achieve his appalling ambitions.”
He added the UK government is considered one of Ukraine’s “strongest allies” in the war, and said: “The UK government has the full support of the Scottish Conservatives in opposing the crimes that Russia has committed and helping the people of Ukraine.”
The Prime Minister recently praised Mr Ross for his “excellent leadership” of the Scottish Tories.
However, when the MP for Moray submitted his first letter of no confidence, he was described as a “lightweight” figure in the party by senior MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.