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by Louise Wilson
25 May 2022
Boris Johnson ‘should step down’ once war in Ukraine is over, says Douglas Ross

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Boris Johnson ‘should step down’ once war in Ukraine is over, says Douglas Ross

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has said the Prime Minister should resign after the war in Ukraine is over.

Douglas Ross submitted a letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson in January following revelations about parties in Downing Street mid-lockdown.

But he withdrew that letter in March in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Sky News after the publication of the Sue Gray report on Wednesday morning, Ross has reiterated his position that the Prime Minister should stay in place for now.

He warned that removing the PM now would “destabilise the UK” at a time when Ukraine needs support.

But pressed repeatedly on whether that meant Johnson should resign once the conflict is resolved, Ross said: “I think he should step down.”

The Conservative MSP and MP said the Sue Gray report “reveals details that no one can be comfortable with” and a culture “not acceptable any time”, lockdown or not.

Regarding his U-turn on the PM’s resignation earlier this year, he said: “I changed my position because of the war in Ukraine.

“Therefore, if the war in Ukraine is over, the Prime Minister doesn’t have the same support as he does at the moment – not just from me, but from other MPs who previously called for him to resign and go.

“I think the public understand that to say here right now that the war is going to be over tomorrow, that sadly isn’t the case.”

Johnson earlier defended his position in government, insisting he was not aware of the extent of the parties in Downing Street.

Regarding his presence at some of the events, the Prime Minister told a press conference earlier: “I believe they were work events; they were part of my job. That appears to be substantiated by the fact I wasn’t fined for those events.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said he continued to have “full support” for the Prime Minister. He said: "I understand that people are angry about what happened in Downing Street. The Prime Minister has apologised again today, and made clear that he takes full responsibility for what went on in No 10. Lessons have been learned and changes have been made within No 10.”

Both Labour and the SNP had urged Ross to re-submit his letter of no confidence.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “If he fails to call for Boris Johnson to go then his claim to be the defender of the United Kingdom is blown out the water. He needs to grow a backbone and boot out Boris Johnson.”

SNP MSP Graeme Dey said: “If Douglas Ross has a shred of credibility left, he will agree that the Prime Minister’s time is up, and he will call for his resignation.”

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