Ross Blasts SNP for Covid WhatsApp Deletions

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is coming out swinging in Holyrood today over the SNP’s Covid WhatsApp messages. Ross pointed out the Scottish Government’s “auto-delete” policy was brought in after government officials were told not to do so by the UK inquiry, and two months after Sturgeon set up the Scotland-specific inquiry. Ritual cover-ups always look the same…

Top ScotNat politicians including Sturgeon have reportedly torched messages “on an industrial scale” after saying they wouldn’t. Humza Yousaf is claiming the Covid Inquiry only requested WhatsApp messages in September this year, while Jamie Dawson KC clarified last week it was late 2022 when all ScotGov messages were asked for. The question is whether the SNP can claim that WhatsApp wasn’t used by officials in Scotland for any decision making or anything related to decision making. Are we meant to believe that?

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WATCH: Humza Yousaf Forced to Apologise For Tory “Lies” Holyrood Rant

Humza Yousaf is obviously feeling the pressure from today’s Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election. This afternoon the First Minister went on an manic rant at Douglas Ross, accusing the Scottish Conservatives leader of “post-truth […] lies“, and repeatedly refusing to apologise despite the demands of Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone. You can tell that by-election is on a knife-edge…

“I know Douglas Ross, despite having three or four or five jobs – I’ve lost count, Presiding Officer – was down at the Conservative Party Conference this week. Or as others have rightly dubbed it, the conspiracy party conference […] His post-truth, his lies about the police service, it simply will not wash here in Scotland.”

After three demands for an apology, Yousaf finally relented, claiming he was “happy to apologise to the chamber for any offence“. Which is not quite the personal apology Johnstone demanded…

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Douglas Ross Reshuffles Scottish Tory Front Bench

While Westminster awaits the rumoured Labour Party front bench reshuffle, Douglas Ross has been getting on with it, shifting several members of his opposition team. MSPs got a whiff of the impending changes when the “who we are” section of the Scottish Tory website went down this morning… and the Times reported on a few of the eventual changes before Ross himself had even made the announcement.

Liam Kerr has replaced Stephen Kerr (no relation) as education spokesman, in what can only be described as a sideways move from his previous post as net zero, energy, and transport spokesperson. Jamie Greene was also replaced by his deputy Russell Findlay as the justice spokesman. This promotion likely comes as a reward for his performance speaking against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill earlier in the year. David Mundell has been appointed chair of the Scottish Tory campaign coordination ahead of the general election next year. Both Greene and Stephen Kerr are rumoured to have been agitating against Ross recently, with their respective replacements seen as more loyal lieutenants… 

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Douglas Ross Responds to Celtic Banner: “I Don’t Think Anyone Could Have Missed It”

Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross has responded to the massive banner that was unfurled halfway through a Celtic match at the weekend, which he was assistant refereeing. The banner in question read “VAR Decision: Douglas Ross is a C***.” The fans accompanied the banner with a catchy rendition of “If you hate the f****** Tories clap your hands”.

Speaking to Northsound News the Tory leader – who’s been having some luck in the polls given Sturgeon’s recent self-enforced implosion over Trans rights – said “I saw the banner being unveiled, I don’t think anyone could have not seen it given the size it was.”

“Look, others are looking into this but my focus is to get my decisions right. On the day, I’m glad my decisions were correct. We had a good Scottish Cup tie, six goals, competitive up until a sending off, but my focus is on the pitch and others can make comments about my role as a referee and a politician. But for 90 minutes, my focus is on the football.”

Looks like he was caught offside on this one…

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In Full: The MPs Set to Lose Their Seats on Current Polls

On Sunday the Trades Union Congress announced the striking results of their MRP poll conducted with Opinium, predicting a 411-seat Labour landslide. The results were pored over by SW1’s Twitter pundits and sent shivers down the spines of Tory MPs.

Although The Guardian published the names of Cabinet ministers to lose out, Guido has done the public service duty of digging through the data to put the names to each constituency that switched hands in the poll. Strap yourself in, it’s a long list…

Amongst the most notable losses to the Tory backbenches are Matt Hancock, Priti Patel, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps, Douglas Ross and Iain Duncan Smith. The Conservatives also lose most of their inroads to the “red wall” including Lee Anderson, Dehenna Davison and Brendan Clarke-Smith. Boris Johnson is set to lose his seat, he’ll be relieved Reigate remains blue…

Read the full list below:

Read More

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Douglas Ross Voice Lost Ahead of Conference

Scottish Tory conference already had clouds hanging over it following the farce of Douglas Ross’s decision to submit a no confidence letter in Boris to Graham Brady, then withdraw it in light of his leadership during the Ukraine crisis. After finally smoothing things out and securing Boris’s attendance, Tories north of Hadrian’s Wall might have hoped their annual meet-up might now go ahead without any further hitches. It’s not to be…

Douglas Ross today missed First Minister’s Questions because he’s lost his voice and his throat has “seized up” just days before his planned speech. The party hopes he will be able to still make a speech, though it’s set to be “shortened”. Coincidentally Peter Chapman MSP has just deleted a tweet promising that Ross would be a great voice for his constituents…

Already the Tories are having to work around this inconvenience. The Stooshie Politics Podcast was meant to have Ross on only to substitute him for Andrew Bowie. What is it about former May PPS Bowie and his leaders losing their voice?

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