DOUGLAS Ross has encouraged the Prime Minister to listen to the message being sent by the public after he suffered two disastrous by-election defeats in England.

The Tories lost the safe seat of Tiverton and Honiton to the LibDems in one of the biggest swings recorded in recent political history, while Labour reclaimed the seat of Wakefield.

The Conservative chair Oliver Dowden (below) then proceeded to resign from his position, saying somebody had to take responsibility.

It comes after months of media focus on widespread Covid-law-breaking in Downing Street, and dissatisfaction over how Johnson’s government has handled the cost-of-living crisis.

The National:

It is just weeks since the Tory leader survived a vote of no confidence – albeit, with a substantial proportion of his own MPs voting against him.

Speaking from the Royal Highland Show, the Scottish Tory leader addressed the situation. He has had a complicated relationship with Johnson – first telling him to resign over partygate, before U-turning and saying Ukraine was more of a priority, later suggesting Johnson could resign when Russia’s war is over and finally voting against him in the no-confidence vote, all over the course of 2022.

Ross told STV: “They’re really disappointing results. It’s terrible for a party to lose any seats.

“I’ve been clear in the vote of no confidence with the 1922 Committee. I was very public that I couldn’t support the Prime Minister.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson takes morning swim in Rwanda after humiliating election defeats

“It’s not a decision I reached easily, it’s not an easy decision for anyone to say they don’t have full confidence of their party leader and the Prime Minister, but I was one of 148 MPs who made that choice.

"41% of the parliamentary party just a few weeks ago said they don’t support and have confidence in the Prime Minister and these two by-election defeats show that the public are sending a very clear message to Boris Johnson.”

Johnson has also been told to resign for the good of the Tory party and the country by former Conservative leader Michael Howard.

But the Prime Minister has vowed to continue on.

Speaking from Rwanda, Johnson said he would take responsibility, but insisted the cost-of-living crisis was the most important issue for voters and it is “true that, in mid-term, governments post-war lose by-elections”.

“It’s absolutely true we’ve had some tough by-election results. They’ve been, I think, a reflection of a lot of things, but we’ve got to recognise voters are going through a tough time at the moment,” he said at the conference centre in Kigali.

“I think as a government I’ve got to listen to what people are saying – in particular to the difficulties people are facing over the cost of living, which I think for most people is the number one issue.

“We’ve got to recognise there is more we’ve got to do and we certainly will; we will keep going, addressing the concerns of people until we get through this patch.”