THE Scottish Conservatives have again dodged questions about the latest “partygate” revelations after refusing to send a representative on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio show.

Hosts were told “no-one was available” to speak to them after it was revealed Boris Johnson attended a birthday bash on Downing Street in June 2020. SNP Westminster leader told the show the Prime Minister had "stuck two fingers up at the rest of us".

Douglas Ross’s party has been accused of blanking the BBC on several other occasions this month following fresh bombshell claims about partying at Number 10.

On January 12, The Scottish Tories declined to be on a panel of MSPs on BBC Scotland's Politics Scotland programme.

On January 16, the Tories went “dark” when asked to provide a representative for the Sunday Show, prompting claims they were "in hiding".

The National has asked the Scottish Tories to explain the repeated absences from BBC broadcasts.

Blackford did accept an invitation to Tuesday’s show. He said Johnson should be removed for the “good of everyone”, denying that it would be in the SNP’s interest for the scandal-ridden Prime Minister to carry on.

ITV revealed the Prime Minister gathered with around 30 people in the Number 10 Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020 – the same room where ministers signed off on rules which banned such gatherings.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, is said to have organised the surprise get-together complete with cake and a chorus of “happy birthday”. Interior designer Lulu Lytle, who oversaw the controversial renovation of the couple’s Downing Street flat, admitted attending but insisted she was only present “briefly”.

Downing Street admitted the gathering took place, but said it was attended by “a group of staff working in No 10 that day”, adding the PM was “there for less than 10 minutes”.

Officials denied allegations that later that evening family friends were hosted upstairs to further celebrate the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday in his official residence.

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Blackford was unequivocal in his assessment of the latest revelations, telling BBC Scotland: “The man that was responsible for the rules that the rest of us were supposed to follow was breaking his own rules on multiple occasions and we now know that this party took place. It wasn't just for members of staff because we know that the Prime Minister's interior designer was at the party as well.

“This is a massive failure of leadership. And somewhere along the line the Prime Minister has got to accept responsibility. He stuck two fingers up at the rest of us, he's failed to accept responsibility, he has to recognise he doesn't have the moral authority to lead. And quite simply, he needs to realise that the right thing for him to do is to show some dignity, show some self-respect and to resign.”

The National: Ian Blackford

Blackford was asked if he is in talks with Labour and rebel Tory MPs to move a motion of no-confidence in Parliament. But the SNP Westminster leader said it was up to Conservative MPs to oust their leader while the Government retained its majority – and that there was no need to wait for the publication of Sue Gray’s report.

“Of course I want to see people come together across the House,” he explained. “It's important that we do that. This man has to go. Parliament has to remove him from office. And the people that have to exert their own responsibilities and do that are the Tory MPs. They need to write their letters to the 1822 committee, there needs to be a motion of no-confidence.”

READ MORE: It’s not just Boris Johnson that's the problem – it’s Toryism and British state

It was put to the Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP that he may actually prefer to see the Prime Minister, who has been dubbed the Yes campaign’s greatest “recruiting sergeant”, cling on to power.

But he rejected that Johnson’s premiership “suited” his party. “Just reflect on everything that’s happened,” he replied. “You had an anti-fraud minister that resigned because there is no effective anti-fraud strategy in the Government. There's now a report to be to be written on Islamophobia within government. We've got the consistent breaking of rules over Covid. We've got the dodgy Covid contracts.

“This is a man that’s besmirching the office of Prime Minister. It’s for the good of everybody he has to go and that's the appeal I would make to parliamentary colleagues.”

Blackford insisted the case for independence “will stand on its own merits”, regardless of Johsnon’s position.

He added: “But at the end of the day, we cannot carry on with this man that has singularly failed to show appropriate leadership. Let's not forget this is a man that illegally shut down Parliament, lied to the Queen on multiple occasions. This man is a charlatan, and he simply doesn't deserve to be left in office – never mind one day, one minute longer.”

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he did not want to add to speculation around the Prime Minister’s birthday gathering but suggested it may have been “unwise”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that staff were working in Downing Street during the period “because they couldn’t be anywhere else”.

He added: “Well, I don’t want to sort of present a defence because, again, I’d be adding speculation to speculation.”

Shapps said he shares “the sense of unease about all of this”. Asked if, at the time, he would have advised someone at a Downing Street press conference that the gathering as described would be allowed, the minister replied: “I think it’s clearly unwise to do those things.”

He added: “This is in a workplace with a bunch of people who were working together all of the time, who decide to give the Prime Minister a birthday cake on his birthday. Unwise, I’m sure, given the circumstances as we know them.”