Downing Street ‘chaos’ holding back Tories in Scotland, former Scottish Conservative chairman says

A former Scottish Conservative chairman has complained that the “continuing chaos in Downing Street” is “holding back” the party’s prospects in Scotland.

Peter Duncan revealed “anxious Scots Tory councillors” were now bracing themselves to lose seats at the council elections, being the “fall guys for Downing Street incompetence”.

Scotland’s only Tory MP between 2001 and 2005, Mr Duncan spoke out after former Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins insisted that none of the opposition parties in Scotland are “going to get near power until they break free and divorce themselves from London”.

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Writing in the Sunday Times, he said: “After a devastating sequence of disastrous missteps this autumn, from Owen Paterson to Downing Street parties, from northern rail U-turns to Covid strategy division, the PM heads into 2022 under pressure like never before.

Peter Duncan claimed Downing Street was making things harder for the Scottish Tories

“And, once more, it’s hurting the Conservative cause in Scotland.”

Current poll ratings mean “significant losses look likely”, he added.

Under these circumstances he said the idea of “independence for the Scottish Conservative Party” was attracting new supporters amongst members.

He said: “Yes, there may be risks to a split with the UK party – but are they any greater than the risks inherent than in the status quo?”

Mr Duncan continued: “One thing is certain, continuing chaos in Downing Street is holding back Scottish Tory prospects and will put at risk good, hard-working Scottish Conservative councillors and MSPs unless something changes.

“I have long supported a more grown-up arrangement whereby the party in Scotland owns its future more clearly, but this autumn’s events at Westminster have made that outcome much more likely.”

The SNP claimed the current UK Government was one of the “most scandal-hit, sleaze-ridden” in recent memory.

Rona Mackay MSP said: "Despite this the Scottish Tories and Douglas Ross continue to prop up Boris Johnson at Westminster and impose a Tory government on the people of Scotland that they did not vote for.

"The Scottish Tories also continue to support devastating Tory cuts on families across Scotland as Universal Credit was cut at a time when energy bills are sky-rocketing and the cost of living is increasing.”

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