Douglas Ross will ‘work with whoever’ becomes next prime minister

Douglas Ross has not backed either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss in the race for Number 10.

20 July 2022

Douglas Ross has pledged to work with whoever wins the keys to Number 10, with the Scottish Conservative leader having described both candidates “fully up to the task of being our next prime minister”.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were named as the final two in the battle for Downing Street on Wednesday, and will now face Conservative Party members across the country in their bid to replace Boris Johnson.

Mr Ross has not backed either candidate, but said: “As Scottish Conservative leader, I will work with whoever emerges victorious from the vote by party members.”

Conservative leadership bid
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are set to face Conservative party members across the country (Jonathan Hordle/ITV/PA)

He described the contest, which whittled down Conservative MPs to the final two before they a vote of members, as being one “full of robust debate and ideas”.

“This contest clearly showed that it is only the Conservative Party that has the talented individuals within it to truly represent all parts of our country,” said the MP and MSP.

“With the final two candidates having now emerged, I fully recognise that both of them bring extensive cabinet service, particularly during some of the most challenging periods in the country’s history and either one of them are fully up to the task of being our next prime minister.”

Prime Minister’s Questions
Douglas Ross had previously called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to quit (Andy Bailey/UK Parliament/PA)

Mr Sunak, the frontrunner throughout the parliamentary leg of the contest, received 137 votes in the final round of voting.

Ms Truss won 113 votes, narrowly eliminating Penny Mordaunt who won the backing of 105 MPs.

The pair will now fight for the backing of members, including thousands of members north of the border, and are set to appear at a hustings across the UK over the summer, including one in Scotland.

The result of the ballot will be announced on September 5 and the winner is expected to replace Mr Johnson the following day.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Ian Blackford said that “Westminster has never looked so arrogant and out of touch” (Andy Bailey/UK Parliament/PA)

But Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in the Commons, said: “If Scotland had any say in the Tory leadership contest, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak would have swiftly been shown the door.

“In this woeful race it’s clear whoever wins, Scotland loses.”

Boris Johnson appeared at the despatch box for his final Prime Minister’s Questions earlier on Wednesday, before Mr Sunak and Ms Truss were named as victors in the contest.

Labour MP Ian Murray, shadow Scottish secretary, said while Mr Johnson was leaving whoever the next leader was had been “complicit in defending his shameful and corrupt behaviour”.

“The people of this country will not forget that Tory MPs lined up time and time again to excuse the behaviour of a man caught lying and partying while the country was in lockdown, and defending sexual predators.

“They clapped him out,” he said.

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