The National:

IT takes a special type of mindset to be the leader of the Scottish Tories.

The job, it seems, requires you to have a razor sharp focus on the Scottish Government, while being totally oblivious to what your bosses are doing in Westminster.

That rule even applies to Douglas Ross, who sits in the UK Parliament.

He’s been criticising Holyrood ministers amid major concerns about the return of university students to campuses. The re-start has coincided with a wave of new coronavirus cases, with students initially told not to return home to help suppress infections.

Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead has now announced that students can visit home for "wellbeing reasons", such as difficulties with their mental health. They can also change their permanent residence if they are unhappy with student halls.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Scottish student 'exodus' not expected after new guidance issued

But Ross, speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, insisted the guidance should have been made clearer to students before they moved into their “halls of horror”.

Host Gary Robertson interjected to point out that “exactly the same thing happening in England”. He asked: “You describe what is happening in Scotland as a shambles – I presume you would say the same of the situation in England?”

At this point Ross seems to have lost track of time, insisting what had already happened in England was in fact yet to unfold.

“Well, let's see what happens in England,” he said sheepishly.

Robertson didn’t let him off the hook though. He interjected: “We already know what's happening – students in Manchester at the Metropolitan University said they were being prevented from leaving by security guards and police. They were told if they leave, they can't come back.

“If it's a shambles in Scotland, and the same situation pertains in England, you must describe that as a shambles too surely?”

Ross again tried to squirm his way out of it, replying: “I just said that, Gary, if you look at what's happening in Manchester, what we've got to wait and see it what happens across the rest of the universities and colleges in England. But I hope, beyond anything else, that the UK Government look at what has happened in Scotland, and get the guidance out there before all the colleges and universities go back and that guidance is crystal clear.”

READ MORE: Scottish Tories share sign praising Nicola Sturgeon and slagging Boris Johnson

But he wasn’t getting away with it that easily.

Robertson asked: “So provide the same clarity that the Scottish Government has provided? … We haven’t had that clarity from the UK Government do they need to follow suit?”

The Scottish Tory leader answered: “Well they need to ensure everything's in place before all the colleges and universities provide go back.”

Once again, Ross seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Boris Johnson’s government…