THE Scottish Tories have been accused of being "in hiding" after they refused to send a representative to appear on a BBC politics programme amid a row with their Westminster counterparts over Boris Johnson.

We told earlier in the week how Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said that the Prime Minister should resign after he admitted attending a “bring your own booze” event in the Number 10 garden.

The call sparked a row between Ross and Westminster Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg, who described the Scots Tory leader as a “lightweight” figure.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson accused of attending another Downing Street party

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack was then forced to wade in to the row, admitting he had called on Ross to wait for Sue Gray’s report into the now multiple Downing Street parties held during lockdown and periods when restrictions on gatherings were in place across the country.

And now, after a weekend of in-fighting, a former Scottish Tory MSP has said that the Scottish arm of the party should split from UK Tory headquarters if Johnson refuses to stand down.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not been seen in public for days, having entered isolation after a family member reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. 

The SNP have said the failure to appear shows the party is "in hiding"

It comes as the BBC reported that the Tories went “dark” when asked to provide a representative for the Sunday Show.

Journalist Martin Geissler told viewers the programme had asked current MPs, MSPs, a former PM, and other Tory grandees, but no-one would come on.

The National:

READ MORE: A timeline of Cabinet's boozy lockdown: ‘Wine-time Fridays’ and mini fridgesHe said: “Now, they’ve been in the spotlight all week and there’s an old adage in politics that some light can be the best disinfectant, but the Tories have gone dark on us this morning.

“We’ve asked to speak to them, don’t doubt that for a second, we’ve used email, phone calls, Twitter, the lot. In fact we’ve invited every single Scottish Conservative MP, every MSP, the grandees, even the former Prime Ministers.

“Every single one of them said no, what does that tell you? Well, who knows.

“I do know one thing and that's that they don’t get to set the agenda, and we will be talking about the tsunami of scandals engulfing their party this morning.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to fire top team over Downing Street party scandal

SNP MP Richard Thomson said: "It speaks volumes that the Scottish Tories have gone into hiding instead of answering the media's questions over the growing scandal and civil war engulfing their party, after Boris Johnson’s blatant breach of lockdown rules.

"So far, not a single Scottish Tory MP has backed Douglas Ross on his call for Boris Johnson to resign. Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has snubbed Mr Ross by giving his full backing to the Prime Minister, and the other four Scottish Tory MPs have bunkered down in silence.
"With Westminster sliding further into corruption and chaos, with a flagrant disregard for their own public health advice, it's clear the only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country so we can escape the broken Westminster system for good and build a fair, green and European future."

The National:

Thomson accused the Scottish Tories of 'going into hiding'

Asked why no-one was available to appear on the show, a Scottish Tory spokesperson said:"We have been upfront and made our position very clear on these issues."

It comes as former Tory MSP Adam Tomkins, who did appear on the Sunday Show, called for the Scottish Tories to be independent and “distinct” from their Westminster counterparts.

Tomkins said they should create a new “fighting force”, adding that after Ross’s calls for Johnson to resign were ignored, then Ross has a “choice to make”.

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He said: “If you're the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and you call in public for the resignation of the leader of the UK Conservative Party, and that resignation does not come, then you've got a choice to make.

“You could prove your critics inside the party, Jacob Rees-Mogg, right, you can prove that you're a lightweight by doing nothing about it.

“Or you could say well, there needs to be consequences of this.”

The National:

Tomkins (pictured) added that if Johnson doesn’t go the Scottish Tories need to decide “what kind of relationship” - if any - they have with the Tory party under Johnson’s leadership.

He added: “I think the electorate in Scotland is very sophisticated. It understands that arguments and debates about elections to the Scottish Parliament are different from arguments and debate about elections to the Westminster parliament. And we can have different party structures in different sorts of parliamentary elections to reflect that sophistication.”

However, Tomkins added that he didn’t support the Northern Ireland system where parties are entirely different, and that the Tories should stay with the main party during UK elections, but separate for Scottish elections.