Douglas Ross powerless to stop Westminster Tory government from weakening union, says Labour

Scottish Labour have said Douglas Ross has “no influence” within his own party and is powerless to stop the UK Government from weakening the union.

The attack comes a month on from the Scottish Conservative leader’s demand to Boris Johnson to resign due to the ongoing ‘partygate’ scandal.

Anas Sarwar’s party said the failure of the Prime Minister to resign and the appointment of Jacob Rees-Mogg as Brexit opportunities minister demonstrated Mr Ross’s lack of power within the party.

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Scottish Labour have launched an attack on Douglas Ross

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Scottish Labour’s business manager in Holyrood, Neil Bibby, criticised the Tory leader.

He said: "One month on and the facts are clear – Douglas Ross has no influence within his own party, let alone in wider politics.

"With not even the Scottish secretary backing his calls, it is clear that Douglas Ross does not have what it takes to command the respect of the Scottish Conservatives let alone of the country.

"While Douglas Ross has called on the Prime Minister to step down in vain, Boris Johnson has thumbed his nose at the Scottish Tory leader by landing his arch-critic Jacob Rees-Mogg in a brand-new Cabinet role.”

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Mr Bibby added: “This Tory Government is weakening the union and forcing thousands of Scots into a cost-of-living crisis, but Douglas Ross is powerless to stop it from happening.

"Enough is enough. The only way we can get rid of this damaging Tory Government and it's sleaze-hit leader is by voting for Scottish Labour."

It is the latest attack from Labour on the Tory leader as pressure continues to mount on Boris Johnson ahead of the council elections in May.

It also comes as Labour continue to command a major lead in the polls for a future general election that could see them returned with a majority should a vote go ahead if the Prime Minister resigns.

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A Scottish Conservative spokesperson gave the comments from Mr Bibby short shrift.

He said: "Under Douglas Ross's leadership, the Scottish Conservatives secured an extra 100,000 votes at last year's election while Scottish Labour went backwards again to their worst-ever Holyrood result.

"We are focused on holding the SNP to account, unlike the Labour party which is in coalition with the nationalists in six councils across Scotland."

Want to hear more from The Scotsman's politics team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

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