Scot Tory MPs Not Happy with Rees-Mogg

The highpoint of yesterday’s madness was undoubtedly the call by the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross for the PM to resign. Since his demand, 27 out of the 31 Scottish Tory MSPs have formally called for the PM to stand down, though Newsnight claimed all 31 are in agreement. Rees-Mogg then took the opportunity to accuse the Scottish Tory leader of being a “lightweight”, something the PM’s spokesperson this morning refused to say Boris agreed or disagreed with. Though he did deny Rees-Mogg’s comments have undermined the campaign to save the union…

All of this makes it very difficult for the Scottish Tories down in SW1. Scot Tory MPs – rather than MSPs – are caught between a rock and a hard place over partygate. While Ross and the MSPs have the political freedom to cast themselves adrift, for most of the MP contingent it makes more sense to wait for the finding of Sue Gray’s report. While they don’t want to jump just yet, Rees-Mogg’s comments have made their position much more difficult, angering Tories north of the border and resulting in their local activists and councillors demanding they disavow the PM’s leadership. Some Scot Tories aren’t opposed to Ross’s position, not least given he led them to a pretty respectable Holyrood result in 2021, they’ll just be happier to bash the PM after Gray’s report is published…

Ross’s comments also raise very difficult questions about future party logistics. The Scottish Tory party conference, for example, usually sees the regional leader introduce the PM’s speech – how can Ross do that this year? Should Boris stumble through to the next election, how could Ross stand under the guise of getting Boris re-elected Surely now he’s made his bed, either Ross or Boris will have to stand down before the next general election…

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