Douglas Ross confirms no-confidence vote u-turn on Boris Johnson
Douglas Ross will vote against Boris Johnson in the vote of no confidence, the Scottish Conservatives have confirmed.
Ross, an MP and MSP, was amongst the first to submit a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister over partygate, and faced widespread criticism for withdrawing this, citing the war on Ukraine as the reason.
There's been speculation over how the Scottish Conservative leader will vote tonight as MPs decide whether or not to trigger a leadership contest.
Now Ross says feedback from voters in Moray and across Scotland means he “cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson”. He said: “While war in Europe continues and the UK Government is providing such strong support to President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine, the timing of this vote is far from ideal.
“However, while I’ve not sought to bring this vote about at this time, it is now going ahead tonight, and I’ve had to consider how to vote on behalf of my constituents and the country.
“I do so knowing there are vocal opinions on both sides of this argument, an argument that has dominated much of the political discussion for many months.
“The Prime Minister can be proud of many of the successes his government have led on, particularly the Covid vaccine and the furlough scheme.
“However, I have heard loud and clear the anger at the breaking of Covid rules that we all did our best to follow, and even more so at the statements to Parliament from the Prime Minister on this topic.
“Having listened closely to people in Moray who re-elected me to represent them, and from many people across Scotland, now that this confidence vote is upon us, I cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson. My vote tonight will support the motion of no confidence.”
The statement comes after Scotland Secretary Alister Jack said he will back the PM. Jack said: “The Prime Minister has my full support, and I will be voting to back him tonight. He is showing tremendous leadership as we face major challenges at home and abroad. I have no doubt that my colleagues in the Parliamentary party will vote to show their confidence in the Prime Minister.”
Ross's statement was released shortly after the Prime Minister met with Conservative MPs to shore up his support. Brexiteer Steve Baker, who left before the meeting ended, told the BBC that Johnson had made a “strong case” for keeping his job, but that he will still vote against the PM.
The vote will take place between 6pm and 8pm and the result is expected at 9pm. MPs are permitted to use a proxy and have been reminded that the ballot must be kept secret.