DOUGLAS Ross has defended Boris Johnson’s honours list after the former prime minister officially resigned as an MP.

The Scottish Tory leader was probed about whether or not Johnson’s list, which gave honours to numerous aides and allies caught up in the partygate scandale, was “rushed through”.

But Ross defended the appointments, revealed earlier this week, just days before Johnson resigned in protest at his trimmed-down honours list and expected ruling by a parliamentary committee that he lied to MPs over partygate.

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Johnson and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have been publicly bickering over whether or not certain nominations were removed from the list over the past few days.

Speaking on Emily Maitlis's News Agents podcast, Ross weighed in on the debate and defended his former boss.

He said: “Well, I don't think it has been rushed, because I think I saw in the documents that it was February that the House of Lords...

“Well, the House of Commons commission looked at this, and it's gone back to the Prime Minister, and then it goes to the King.

“But there is a precedent, they say that incoming Prime Ministers don't interfere with their predecessors' resignation list, but I think the strongest…”

Maitlis then asked Ross if that included even when they were “being investigated”.

“Can you imagine the precedent that would set, that if a Labour prime minister leaves office and a Conservative prime minister comes in, in the future, should a Conservative prime minister get to manipulate what the previous prime minister from a different party have put forward?” Ross said.

Maitlis pointed out that Johnson has been accused of willfully misleading parliament, a very serious accusation.

Ross said: “I think the two are quite separate, there is an investigation that's almost complete, we will know I think later on today or tomorrow, the outcome of that.

“I don't think that will be hidden or be put in a drawer just because Boris Johnson is no longer prime minister.

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“And I think the most important thing is that we look to what the committee came up with, the recommendations, and as I say, that was our committee that was tasked to do that by every single MP in the parliament.

“There was no division, it was a Government led by Boris Johnson at the time that agreed to it.”

Global’s Lewis Goodall then asked Ross if he could not see how a man whose peers judged to have “lied to them, and by extension, the country” is then allowed to appoint his friends to the House of Lords for life, that might be a “problem”.

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Ross replied: “Yeah but these nominations were made, of course, you know, before certainly he gave evidence to the committee indeed, when he gave evidence…”

Goodall interrupted to say that Johnson “lied”, to which Ross responded: “No, but what I'm seeing is there was still a due process to go through. And there has been a process for these nominations to go through as well.”

Maitlis then asked Ross if he was “happy” with the honours list, Ross said: “What I’m saying is there is a precedent…”

Asked again if he was happy with Johnson’s honours list going ahead, the Scottish Tory leader said: “I accept that there is a precedent there that prime ministers when they leave office can nominate people in an honours list.

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“And what I think is most important here is the current Prime Minister has been very clear today that he was asked to do something that would have been inappropriate in his mind, and he refused to do that.

“And I think that is a very strong message from Rishi Sunak.

“In contrast of what we're seeing in Scotland, which is a weak First Minister, who is unable to and unwilling to stand up to his predecessor.”

Ross’s comments come ahead of the expected publication of the Privileges Committee report into Johnson on Wednesday.

And, we told how Humza Yousaf said that it was “hardly a surprise” that the Tories had been calling for Nicola Sturgeon to be suspended as she had “thrashed them in every election”.

Opposition politicians and some SNP rebels called on Sturgeon to be suspended following her arrest as part of the SNP finance probe. She was later released without charge.