Douglas Ross has said that Boris Johnson has an “uphill challenge” to win over more Scottish voters. 

Douglas Ross pointed to poll ratings achieved by the Prime Minister when asked if Mr Johnson’s outlook “played” in Scotland.

Speaking at a fringe event at the virtual Conservative Party conference, Mr Ross said: “His approval ratings would suggest he’s got an uphill challenge to convince more and more Scots.

“But he is a proud unionist, he believes in the strength of the four nations of the United Kingdom.

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“And his Government, whether it’s through the city and growth region deals that now cover right across every part of Scotland, or through the £6.5 billion delivered to Scotland to help us get through the Covid pandemic, this current UK Government, led by the Prime Minister, are continuing to work hard for the whole of the country.

“Right across the United Kingdom, that includes in Scotland.”

The comments by the Moray MP come follow comments from the Scottish Conservative leader that Tories south of the border who showed “defeatism and disinterest” around the Union.

On his comments, Mr Ross told the event organised by the Onward think tank: “I wanted to put down a marker, I think this Government and previous governments have been guilty in the past of devolving and forgetting.

“The speech was supposed to be a bit of a wake-up call and for people to reflect on – have they done enough to support the Union.”

The Scottish Tory leader also backed votes for 16 and 17-year-olds in UK general elections, stating: “At 16, people are forming very solid opinions and they are doing it in a reasoned way.”

Speaking on Andrew Marr on Sunday, Boris Johnson said he values the Union as “one of the great achievements of this country"

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The Prime Minister said: “I think he was talking about those who don’t value the Union in the way that I do and I think that the Union is one of the great achievements of this country.

“And by the way, I think its value, its use has been amply demonstrated during this crisis.

“Not just in the way the armed services have helped deliver tests around the country, but the way the financial support for the whole UK has been delivered by HMT, by the Treasury.”

Asked whether he would grant a second Scottish independence referendum if the SNP win a majority in next year’s Holyrood elections, Mr Johnson said: “This country has a big job of building back better from coronavirus and I don’t think this is the time, quite frankly, for us to have another referendum.

“We had a referendum in 2014, we were told it was a once in a generation event… by the leaders of the SNP and six years doesn’t seem to me (to be) a generation.”