SCOTTISH Tories have mounted a rebellion against Boris Johnson over his failure to sack Dominic Cummings for driving 260 miles to Durham during lockdown.

Four of Jackson Carlaw’s frontbench team broke ranks to hit out at the chief aide’s actions despite their boss’s earlier stance and insistence any disciplinary action was up to the Prime Minister.

The moves by Murdo Fraser, Adam Tomkins, Graham Simpson and Donald Cameron yesterday morning followed the resignation of Douglas Ross as Scotland Office minister and put pressure on their boss to speak out.

Carlaw then finally broke his silence and called for Cummings to stand down.

“This is now consuming the entire debate, distracting away from the principal message and the virus and if I were in his position, if it were me, I would be considering my position,” he told STV News.

Asked if Johnson should sack his top aide, Carlaw said: “I’m not going to issue instructions to the Prime Minister.

“It is absolutely a matter for the Prime Minister himself who serves him and for how long they serve. But given the furore, given the distraction we are now in, given the distraction to the Prime Minister on this issue, if I were Mr Cummings I would be considering my position.

“It is a distraction for the Prime Minister, I think it is diluting the message, I think all across the country the focus has to be on tackling the virus.”

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He added: “Here in Scotland my job as opposition leader is to hold the Scottish Government to account, to point out where there are shortcomings not for the sake of that but to ensure that we then get the right policy in place.

“That’s what my energy and attention should be on. We want to see the whole country defeat this virus and we can’t do it if the debate is being distracted by other things.”

Ross, the parliamentary under- secretary of state for Scotland, said yesterday that he was quitting after hearing Cummings’s efforts to defend his trip from London to Durham despite the coronavirus lockdown.

He was the first ministerial resignation over the allegations which have rocked the UK Government after emerging late on Friday night.

The National: Douglas Ross resigned from the UK GovernmentDouglas Ross resigned from the UK Government

In a statement, Ross, the MP for Moray, said: “I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones, families who could not mourn together, people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the Government.

“I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the Government was right.”

In correspondence to a constituent, Fraser wrote: “My own personal view on the matter, on the basis of the information currently available, is that Mr Cummings did break the rules, and therefore, as someone who is [in] a position of authority, he should step down from the post.

“I have communicated this view to the Prime Minister through the appropriate channels.”

Responding to Ross’s resignation, Tomkins tweeted: “To lose @Douglas4Moray from Government is a disaster. His was one of clearest voices for the Union in Government. It shows exactly why Cummings should be sacked. I suspect others will follow where Douglas has led.”

Simpson also called for Cummings to go. The shadow housing minister wrote on his website: “I don’t like calling for people to resign or be sacked – there is too much of that. I tend to believe in giving people the chance to say sorry and learn. In this case though I think Mr Cummings should go.”

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Cameron also supported Ross’s decision to resign. Responding to his announcement on Twitter this morning, the Highlands and Islands MSP wrote: “Well done, my friend”.

A No 10 spokesman said Johnson “regrets” Ross’s decision to quit.

In an extraordinary press conference in Downing Street’s garden on Monday, Cummings refused to apologise or say he regretted his actions –causing further anger.

He argued his journey to Durham in March was justified as he sought to protect his family’s health.

But many questions remained unanswered, including over a decision to return to work after his wife began showing Covid-19 symptoms and a subsequent 60-mile round trip to Barnard Castle from Durham which he said was to test his eyesight after it was affected by coronavirus.