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A junior minister has quit and a wave of Scottish Tories have rebelled as pressure mounts on the Prime Minister to go in a confidence vote.
Boris Johnson’s fate will be decided by Conservative MPs after a slow trickle of letters to the backbench 1922 Committee triggered a ballot on his leadership.
Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, waited until Monday afternoon to publicly state his position, almost nine hours after the vote was announced, reversing his previous support for the Prime Minister to remain, in order to provide stability at the top of government during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Tonight, I have voted against the Prime Minister in the Vote of Confidence.
I have also resigned as PPS to Liz Truss at @FCDOGovUK.
My statement below 👇 pic.twitter.com/SGNFHsWwAr
— John Lamont MP 🇬🇧🏴 (@John2Win) June 6, 2022
And a slew of Tories representing seats north of the border soon followed, beginning with John Lamont, who resigned as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ ministerial aide and announced he voted against Mr Johnson.
He described the events in Downing Street during lockdown as “unacceptable” and said the “unfortunate reality is that the Government has become overwhelmed by these events, to the detriment of my constituents and people across the United Kingdom”.
The MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk added: “The amazing work that this Government is doing in Scotland and across the UK is increasingly being overshadowed.
Tonight, and with a heavy heart, I have taken the extremely tough decision to vote against the Prime Minister.
I have not taken the decision lightly, at all, but after listening to my constituents.
— Andrew Bowie MP (@AndrewBowie_MP) June 6, 2022
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision. I know that many colleagues have been wrestling with their conscience during today and I respect that some MPs will have reached a different conclusion.”
Former Scotland secretary David Mundell has also said he voted against Boris Johnson.
“After a difficult couple of years and listening to the views of my constituents, I voted tonight for a fresh start and new leadership for our country,” he tweeted.
Having listened closely to people in Moray who re-elected me and people across Scotland, tonight I will support the motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/YXE0rEyvsn
— Douglas Ross MP MSP (@Douglas4Moray) June 6, 2022
And Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, tweeted: “Tonight, and with a heavy heart, I have taken the extremely tough decision to vote against the Prime Minister.
“I have not taken the decision lightly, at all, but after listening to my constituents.
“They remain understandably angry and upset at what has happened, this was the only choice for the good of the country.”
But Scottish Secretary Alister Jack supported the Prime Minister.
Mr Jack, unlike others in the Scottish Tories, has been steadfastly behind the Prime Minister throughout his tenure.
“The Prime Minister has my full support, and I will be voting to back him tonight,” he said on Monday.
“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.”
And David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan, said that “that’s happened in the last 24 hours has changed my opinion on whether or not the Prime Minister needs to resign so tonight I voted against the motion of no confidence”.
“With our recovery from the pandemic and the global inflation pressures that have yet to hit us fully, I believe this is in the best interests of the country,” he said.
The Conservatives have six MPs in Scotland, meaning a majority are now calling for the Prime Minister to go.
Earlier in the day Mr Ross, who serves as both an MP and MSP, said he “cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson”.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Despite saying he would vote against the Prime Minister, Mr Ross added that he “can be proud of many of the successes his government have led on, particularly the Covid vaccine and the furlough scheme”.
It has been almost two weeks since the Moray MP told the PA news agency that the Prime Minister should continue in office, after the Sue Gray report found that “senior leadership” within Number 10 should “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to parties being held during 2020 and 2021.