Douglas Ross says ‘I’m the one on the ballot’ when asked if Boris Johnson an asset to Scottish Tories
DOUGLAS Ross has repeatedly refused to say if Boris Johnson is an electoral asset to the Scottish Conservatives.
With the Prime Minister recording disastrous approval ratings north of the border, the Scottish Tory leader sidestepped the question three times in a TV interview.
Instead, he said the Scottish Tories would be able to take forward the PM’s “positive message” at next May’s Holyrood election.
“I’m the one on the ballot paper, I’m the leader of the Scottish Conservative party,” he stressed.
The SNP see Mr Johnson as one of their biggest assets in next year’s election, at which they are hoping to get a second majority and mandate for an independence referendum.
A recent poll found the PM’s personal approval rating was -50 north of the border, while Nicola Sturgeon was on +50.
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In December’s general election, Scotland was the only part of Great Britain outside London where the Tory share of the vote went down, not up.
If fell by 3.5 points in Scotland, compared to a 1.1 point in London, and an overall increase of 1.3 across Great Britain.
Speaking to tonight’s Representing Border programme on ITV Border, Mr Rosswas asked directly: “Do you think Boris Johnson is an asset for the Scottish Conservatives?”
The Moray MP hesitated then replied: “The Prime Minister is the Prime Minister of the whole of the United Kingdom, and his positive vision to level up all parts, all nations and the whole of the United Kingdom is a positive message I think we can take forward into the election next year.
“We see on the ground, day-in day-out, with the Borderlands Growth Deal and City Region growth deals the length and breadth of the country, investment by the UK Government working with the Scottish Government, and that’s the message I think people want to hear.”
New Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross (@Douglas4Moray) won’t say if Boris Johnson is an asset to his party in Scotland.
— Representing Border (@ITVBorderRB) October 1, 2020
Asked again, “Is Boris Johnson an asset to the Scottish Conservatives?”, Mr Ross carried on: “Well, I’ve just said, you know, his government is moving forward with a strong positive agenda to level up the whole of the country, and I think that’s what people want to hear.”
Presenter Peter McMahon then tried a third time, saying: “I’m not sure that’s quite answering my question, which is, Is Boris Johnson an asset to the Scottish Conservatives?”
Mr Ross replied: “Well, that’s what I’m saying, he is the leader of the Conservative party and the UK Government. He’s the Prime Minister, and his government is investing in areas across Scotland.
“I think that’s a positive message we can take into the election, while remembering I’m the one on the ballot paper, I’m the leader the leader of the Scottish Conservative party.
“We have unique policies here in Scotland compared to other parts of the United Kingdom, and it’s our policies, our platform, and our team we’re taking to the electorate next May.”
The Scottish Tories currently have 31 MSPs at Holyrood, and are the official opposition.
Mr Ross, a former MSP who went to Westminster in 2017, is planning to return via the Highlands & Islands list next May, when the current Tory leader at Holyrood, Ruth Davidson, will step down and go to the Lords.