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Tories come THIRD in Scotland: Leader Douglas Ross blames Boris Johnson as Conservatives haemorrhage up to 10% of votes, saying local election result ‘a message to the Prime Minister’ over Partygate
- Tories wait to find out whether it has slipped below Labour in local elections
- Leader Douglas Ross said the result was ‘very disappointing and challenging’
- He acknowledged that defeated candidates said Partygate was an issue
Voters in Scotland sent ‘a message to the Prime Minister’ over Partygate by hammering the Tories in the local elections, leader Douglas Ross said today.
He lashed out as the party fell to the third largest in the country, on vote share and seats, behind the SNP and Labour.
The Conservative vote share across Scotland has dropped, with a number of wards seeing a fall of more than 10 per cent when compared to 2017.
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Ross said: ‘In too many parts of Scotland we have lost excellent candidates and councillors haven’t been re-elected because it seems many of our supporters decided to sit this one out to protest and not cast their vote and we’ve lost out as a result of that.
‘There is absolutely no doubt that people have sent a message to the Prime Minister and the Government, particularly around Partygate. That’s what came out loud and clear.’
Mr Ross – who had called for the PM to resign over breaking lockdown rules, but then gave him his backing over Ukraine – said that the next few days were ‘crucial’ in the war.
But he added that the PM ‘simply can’t ignore the message that has been sent from voters, not just here in Scotland but across the UK’.
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the result was ‘very disappointing and challenging’.
Asked about Partygate, his colleague Miles Biggs, the shadow social justice secretary, said: ‘You can’t deny that and I think speaking to people yesterday they certainly weren’t happy with the actions of the Prime Minster and his team.’
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attends the annual royal garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh today
Unlike in some places in the rest of the UK where votes were counted overnight, ballots are being tallied up in Scotland throughout Friday and the final results are due to be announced in the early evening.
Asked about Partygate, Tory frontbencher Miles Biggs, the shadow social justice secretary, said: ‘You can’t deny that and I think speaking to people yesterday they certainly weren’t happy with the actions of the Prime Minster and his team.’
Earlier, senior figures in the Scottish Conservatives had told The Times they were expecting ‘heavy losses’ due to partygate.
But former Tory MSP Adam Tomkins described that comment as ‘nonsense’.
He highlighted that Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross had backed Boris Johnson to remain in post at Number 10.
On Twitter, Mr Tomkins said: ‘Whatever today’s results show Douglas Ross owns this, not Boris.
‘It was Douglas who U-turned, Douglas who flipped, and Douglas who backed the PM. He and his team need to own the consequences, not pass the buck.’
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Scottish voters had ‘sent a message’ to Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Blackford said: ‘The important story from Scotland is the fact that the Tories are being rejected.
‘Their vote is down and I think what really is important today is that the voters have sent a message to Boris Johnson.
‘I think there’s two things that count; one is of course the cost-of-living crisis – more needs to be done, and the other issue is partygate.
‘I think people in Scotland have made it very clear that they want no more of this from Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.’
He added that voters had sent a ‘very clear message’ and ‘we can celebrate the fact that the Tories have got the message that we expected’.
Source: Daily Mail