IT might have been the worst day of Douglas Ross’s political career.

Forced to defend his decision to back the Prime Minister – the first in history to have been found by police to have broken the law while in office – the Scottish Tory leader found himself claiming someone he had accused of lying was in fact a “truthful man”.

He was accused by the First Minister of sinking to new lows by using the war in Ukraine as his sole defence of Boris Johnson.

Not the ideal time to face the press. But he did.

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Ross took to the streets of Edinburgh on Wednesday to leaflet homes alongside his predecessor Baroness Ruth Davidson.

Davidson, from her seat in the House of Lords, has found herself freer to speak out against her English colleagues since her elevation and she renewed her calls for the Prime Minister to step down.

Visibly emotional as she talked about the people who had lost loved ones without getting to say goodbye during the lockdown, she reiterated she thought it was time for Johnson to leave No 10.

But Ross remained defiantly in the Prime Minister’s corner, refusing even when pressed, to say if his support for the Tory leader was conditional. He even went as far as defending Rishi Sunak – one Tory who may have had an even more bruising week than Johnson.

Revelations around his wife’s tax arrangements which meant she paid no taxes in the UK on income earned overseas were legal but deeply embarrassing for the country’s taxman.

Ross gave a convoluted explanation as to why it would also be wrong, in his view, for the Chancellor to step down.

“The Chancellor is involved in this, this is a UK Government response to the atrocities in Ukraine,” he said.

“The sanctions that have been imposed by the Foreign Secretary also go through the Treasury.

“We know that the investment in the Ukraine military from the Ministry of Defence… comes at a cost and the Chancellor is involved in that as well.

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“Every member of the Government are involved with this response to the Ukraine war.”

Asked if she was disappointed by Ross’ stance, Davidson was candid about the position of the Tory party in Scotland.

She said: “I’ve got no issue with Douglas.

“I think Douglas has been put in a terrible position. Probably the hardest position that any Scottish leader ever has been, and as somebody who was the leader for eight years, I know what it’s like to have been dumped in it by colleagues down south.”

He also finds himself at odds with colleagues in Holyrood. Brian Whittle, an MSP for the South of Scotland region, broke ranks today to demand the Prime Minister’s resignation.

Justice minister Lord David Wolfson has quit the government in protest over the scandal, claiming the Prime Minister’s actions – which include breaking the law and the ministerial code by lying repeatedly to Parliament – were “inconsistent with the rule of law”.

And on the streets of Edinburgh, Ross was not met with the kindest reaction from residents, one of whom threw a Tory leaflet back at the party leader.

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Johnson has not let the crisis in Ukraine go to waste and indeed he has been praised for delivering military support by the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

But despite generating front pages in Tory-loyal papers like the Daily Mail – which ran on Wednesday with the headline “Don’t They Know There’s a War On” – the Ukraine excuse does not seem to be cutting it with the electorate or some Tory members.

Opinion polls have put the Tories on a disastrous course at the local elections, falling back into third place behind Labour.

Confronted with the statistics, Davidson said: “There is significant evidence that the Scottish Conservatives repeatedly outperform polls at elections.”

She also insisted she felt no conflict campaigning for a party she said was ruled by a liar and a lawbreaker.

But the “partygate” scandal is a gift for every other party that is not the Conservatives. At press events they are all given a break from defending their own policies and given licence to tear into a government that its opponents say has lost the moral authority to govern.

Johnson is a master of survival, worming his way from job to job and, in his current role, crisis to crisis emerging unscathed.

But the Tories are famed for their ruthlessness and losing their clout in Scottish councils could be just one of a number of dominos before the men in grey suits come for their leader. But where would that leave Ross?