Douglas Ross yesterday doubled down on his call for Boris Johnson to resign and demanded that the Prime Minister publish in full Sue Gray’s investigation into lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.
The Scottish Conservative leader said it remained his position that Mr Johnson should resign, despite pleas from the Prime Minister that MPs should wait for the results of the Metropolitan Police inquiry.
But Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, said the Prime Minister retained his “full support” and that Mr Johnson had “undertaken to fix things”. He is the only one of the six Scottish Tory MPs to voice his public support.
The Dumfries and Galloway MP urged his Scottish Tory colleagues to return their political focus to “the issues that matter most to people – recovering from the pandemic, boosting our economy and rebuilding our public services”.
Mr Ross and Mr Jack remained at loggerheads amid uncertainty over whether the other four Scottish Tory MPs at Westminster will back the Prime Minister or join Mr Ross’s call for him to stand down.
Andrew Bowie, the West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP, and David Duguid, the Banff and Buchan MP, have both previously called for people to wait to pass judgment on the Prime Minister until the Gray report is published.
Mr Johnson on Monday repeatedly refused to guarantee the document would be disclosed in full but Downing Street later issued a statement pledging any update from Ms Gray would be published.
In January Mr Ross became the first senior Tory to urge Mr Johnson to resign after the Prime Minister failed to convince him in a phone call about why he attended a Downing Street garden party during lockdown.
The Moray MP said: “I made my position clear several weeks ago and that remains my position in light of the findings of Sue Gray’s report, which states ‘at least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.’
“It is vital that the final report, following the Met investigation, is published in full.”
But Mr Jack said: “The Prime Minister has my full support. He has accepted the findings of the report and he has made a sincere apology. He has taken responsibility and undertaken to fix things. I have no doubt that he will do that.”
He said that Mr Johnson had “a track record to be proud of” thanks to the UK having Europe’s fastest Covid vaccine rollout and the fastest-growing economy in the G7.
David Mundell, the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP and former Scottish Secretary, has previously refused to comment on whether he thought Mr Johnson should resign or if he would be submitting a letter to the 1922 Committee.
John Lamont, the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP, has not responded to calls asking for his view.
He is a close ally of Mr Ross, ran Jeremy Hunt’s leadership campaign in Scotland against Mr Johnson and is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, who would be one of the favourites to succeed Mr Johnson if he quit.