DOUGLAS Ross has been “completely consistent” on the question of whether Boris Johnson should resign, according to a Scottish Tory ally.

Ross U-turned for a second time on Monday as he joined rebels in calls for the Prime Minister to lose his job.

The Scottish Conservative leader withdrew a letter of no confidence in his Westminster boss following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stating it was not the right time to remove Johnson.

However, after disgruntled Tory MPs sparked a leadership vote, Ross again reversed his position, announcing “I cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson”.

The Prime Minister survived the ballot by 211 votes to 148, but his premiership remains far from secure. 

Challenged on his party leader’s flip-flops, Conservative MSP and chief whip Stepehen Kerr told BBC Good Morning Scotland (GMS): “Douglas has been consistent in terms of the principle.”

Challenged by the BBC host that Ross has been “anything but consistent”, Kerr said: “I can understand why you say that. But in truth, he has been completely consistent with the principle.

“He made it clear from the outset that he had huge doubts about the conduct of the Prime Minister. He said that from the very beginning. It was only when circumstances changed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine that he said, ‘look, there are some things right now that we need to set aside we'll come back to them’.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon slams Boris Johnson after victory in no-confidence vote

Ross was among the first senior Tory figures to call for Johnson to quit in early 2022 following the first reports of rule-breaking parties in Downing Street during lockdown.

The Prime Minister has since been fined by the Metropolitan Police after being found to have attended an event to mark his birthday during the height of the pandemic.

The National:

Addressing Ross’s initial U-turn, Kerr pointed out that Keir Starmer took the same stance following the outbreak of war in Ukraine. “This was a moment when the Russia invaded Ukraine Kyiv was threatened,” he said. “It was a time for us to concentrate our efforts to support the Ukrainian people. And Douglas was clear on that but he has always been clear.”

The Tory MSP continued: “[Ross] does have the courage of his convictions. That's the one thing I'm absolutely certain about when it comes to Douglas Ross. But, but can I also say that the timing of yesterday's confidence vote has nothing to do with Douglas. Douglas had made it clear in his previous utterances that that, you know, the vote of confidence was was not a time of choosing of Douglas Ross.”

Asked why the Scottish Tory leader waited for others to show the “confidence of their convictions and actually take some action” before he made a decision, Kerr replied: “For the very good reasons I’ve outlined that he was consistent in putting forward.”

He added: “What he did yesterday, in casting his vote the way he did, was completely consistent with the position that he took initially, which would has been his position throughout.

“This has always been a matter of timing. And Douglas – the one thing I can assure you about Douglas Ross – is he has principles. He is actually someone that feels very strongly about the matters of right and wrong.”

READ MORE: Arch-Unionists call on 'DISLOYAL' Douglas Ross to resign after no-confidence vote

Johnson's narrow victory in the no-confidence ballot has fuelled speculation that he could call a snap General Election. Kerr dismissed those suggestions, with the Prime Minister also saying he's "not interested" in a UK-wide vote.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said his party would relish that opportunity. 

He told GMS: “We have a mandate to have an independence referendum. But if we end up that a snap election is called, as far as I’m concerned, bring it on because it's that opportunity to reinforce that people in Scotland want no more of what is happening here in Westminster and an opportunity for the SNP to put our case to the people of Scotland one more time – and to have that discussion, in an election scenario on Scotland's future.”

Four out of six Scottish Tory MPs rebelled against Johnson in the no-confidence vote, with David Duguid and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack backing the PM.

Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, said it is “now a matter of when he [Johnson] will go, rather than if”.

The shadow Scottish secretary told GMS that a snap election would be the “best way forward”.

“If Boris Johnson thinks after last night’s vote he can command the respect and support of the country, then why doesn’t he take the short trip to Buckingham Palace, request that the Parliament and Government is dissolved, and go to the country and let the people decide?” Murray said.

“That would be the best way to resolve this situation.”

Revealing his decision on Monday, Ross said in a statement: “While war in Europe continues and the UK Government is providing such strong support to President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine, the timing of this vote is far from ideal.

“However, while I’ve not sought to bring this vote about at this time, it is now going ahead tonight, and I’ve had to consider how to vote on behalf of my constituents and the country.

“I do so knowing there are vocal opinions on both sides of this argument, an argument that has dominated much of the political discussion for many months.

“The Prime Minister can be proud of many of the successes his government have led on, particularly the Covid vaccine and the furlough scheme.

“However, I have heard loud and clear the anger at the breaking of Covid rules that we all did our best to follow, and even more so at the statements to Parliament from the Prime Minister on this topic.

“Having listened closely to people in Moray who re-elected me to represent them, and from many people across Scotland, now that this confidence vote is upon us, I cannot in good faith support Boris Johnson.

"My vote tonight will support the motion of no confidence.”