DOUGLAS Ross has claimed he only changed his position once on whether or not the Prime Minister should resign over the partygate scandal.

The Scottish Tory leader initially called for Boris Johnson to quit when the allegations emerged and even sent a letter of no confidence to the backbench 1922 committee, with support from his Holyrood parliamentary party.

But shortly before the Tory party conference in March, Ross gave his backing to the Prime Minister and said he should stay because of the Ukraine crisis.

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After the full Sue Gray report emerged on Wednesday, Ross insisted that his position was that the PM should remain in place while the Ukraine crisis continues.

Ross has also said that he would consider changing his position if the Standards Committee finds Johnson had knowingly misled MPs. 

When asked if that meant he would reverse back and call for Johnson to resign if the war was over, he told Sky: “That’s what I said.”

The SNP said that Ross's U-turn claim and excuses for why he's supporting the PM are "pathetic and embarassing".

Speaking to The National after FMQs on Thursday, Ross was asked if he regretted any of his U-turns.

He said: “I’ve only changed my decision once…”

The National pointed out that Ross had called for a resignation, then reneged on that, and then appeared to do so again on Wednesday.

He replied: “No, I’ve changed my decision once in light of war in Europe between two sovereign nations, that to me is a massive issue that we need to provide the greatest possible support for Ukraine to fight against the Russian incursion.”

The National: Ross and Davidson have differing views on whether not Boris Johnson should remain as PMRoss and Davidson have differing views on whether not Boris Johnson should remain as PM

Ross and former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, now a Baroness in the House of Lords, have had different views on whether or not Johnson should resign, with Davidson sticking to her view that he should.

She has urged Tory MPs to get rid of their leader following his “incomprehensible” actions.

Writing in her column for the Evening Standard, Davidson said: “I have found it incomprehensible that a prime minister asking for so much sacrifice from so many, would not just preside over, but participate in, such flagrant and widespread rule breaking.

“For me, if you aren’t leading by example in a time of national crisis, then you aren’t leading at all.”

The National asked Ross why voters should trust his party when the two aren’t on the same page.

He said: “Well we see this across the party, I made the observation yesterday that Tobias Ellwood the Conservative chair of the Defence Select Committee doesn’t believe the situation in Ukraine materially changes anything yet Jeremy Hunt, the former foreign secretary, a Conservative, believes it does, he takes a similar view to me.

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“Now I understand not everyone will agree with this, the actions of the Prime Minister in and around 10 Downing Street was unacceptable, but I’ve also made it clear that the situation in Ukraine is a material change for me but I understand not every colleague agrees with that and there are differences of opinion within the parliamentary party at UK level as well.”

The National also asked Ross what would have to be included in the Gray report for him to call on the Prime Minister to quit – for example, if the PM had been pictured passed out drunk.

The National: The PM shows no sign of resigning despite the contents of the Gray reportThe PM shows no sign of resigning despite the contents of the Gray report

Ross said: “I don’t think it’s a joking matter.”

The National pointed out that not many people, including our newspaper, do, and asked again what it would take for him to now fully call on the PM to resign.

He said: “I think this is not something to make light of, this is extremely serious, as is a war in Ukraine.

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“As I’ve said in this chamber in Holyrood before, I never thought I would see a war in Europe again in my lifetime again, but we are.

“Although it’s not top of the news bulletins at the moment there is on a daily basis hundreds and thousands of people being murdered by Vladimir Putin and his regime and that for me has changed things but I understand and accept that not everyone agrees with that.”

Ross added that the content of the report is "unacceptable". 

The National: Wishart said Ross's excuses are "pathetic and embarassing"Wishart said Ross's excuses are "pathetic and embarassing"

Commenting on Ross's claims, Pete Wishart SNP MP said: "In fairness to Douglas Ross it is easy to forget just how many times he has U-turned on this.

"With each day he refuses to resubmit his letter to the 1922 committee his excuses grow even more pathetic, and is now hiding behind a brutal war to justify his embarrassing position.

"If Douglas Ross is, like the rest of us, appalled by the Prime Minister's lockdown law-breaking he should get on with it and remove him from office - after all only Tory MPs have the power to get rid of him.

"Everyday he doesn't he loses authority and respect from his own party and from the entire country."