Ross Douglas withdrew his letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Due to the war going on in Ukraine, Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservatives leader has withdrawn his letter of no confidence in Boris Johnson, which he had submitted over the “partygate” dispute.

The middle of an international crisis is not the moment to be contemplating resignations, unless it’s the departure from office of Vladimir Putin, Ross stated in a U-turn on his call for the prime minister to resign.

Mr Johnson has been invited to speak at the Scottish Conservatives conference in Aberdeen, and his decision comes just over a week before that.

With the majority of Scottish Conservative MSPs joining Mr Ross in demanding for the PM to resign, Mr Johnson was scheduled to address the conference via video.

Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the PM may now be able to attend in person.

After the PM admitted to attending a “bring your own booze” party at 10 Downing Street during the UK’s first national COVID lockdown, Mr Ross had called on Mr Johnson to leave.

The 20 May gathering is one of 12 suspected COVID rule-breaking gatherings held in Downing Street and Whitehall amid coronavirus outbreaks.

However, Mr Ross, who is both an MSP and an MP, has now stated that the partygate row should be put on hold while Russia continues the attack on Ukraine.

“There will be a time and place to debate partygate,” the Scottish Tory leader added. “But, as even [Labour leader] Keir Starmer stated at the weekend, we should put that on hold while Europe is at war.”

He added that it was critical that everyone completely backs the actions of the UK government.

The government and PM require the support in light of Russia’s heinous conduct, and they have his and that of the entire Scottish Conservative Party.

Everyone should all be thinking about how they can aid the Ukrainian people in every way they can, he continued.

Mr Ross’ decision to retract his letter of no confidence was described by the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, as a “utterly humiliating U-turn.”

He was adamant only a few weeks ago that Boris Johnson should be dismissed from Downing Street for his chronic rule-breaking, he stated.

He further said that now it seemed that he would treat the PM like royalty at the Scottish Conservative conference, pretending that the no-confidence letter he submitted with such hoopla never happened.

Mr Ross was not the first Conservative MP to write Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative Party’s influential 1922 Committee, a letter of no confidence in the PM over the partygate scandal.

A total of 54 letters are required to trigger a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership, though Sir Graham refuses to comment on the number of letters received until that threshold is met.