I WOULD like to add some balance to the criticism of the Tory leader in Scotland, Douglas Ross, for having u-turned and even double u-turned in relation to the conduct of the Prime Minister (“Ross accused of doing a ‘donut’ as he calls for the PM to go now, The Herald, June 7, and Letters, June 8). Mr Ross’s position has all along been consistent and principled.

When he was an Under-Secretary of State in Boris Johnson’s Government, he resigned that position in the face of Mr Johnson’s defence of the farrago of nonsense presented by Dominic Cummings. That appeared to proceed upon the principle of the prioritisation of truthfulness.

Subsequently, when the extent of Boris Johnson’s wrongdoing in relation to Partygate became apparent, Mr Ross wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to resign his office. That appeared to follow the principle that those who made the laws did not have licence to break the laws.

Thereafter, Mr Ross withdrew his call for Mr Johnson to leave office. That was brought about by the desperate need in Ukraine for support from the free world and by the huge demonstration of UK support arising from the sight of Mr Johnson walking the streets of Kyiv where he was given a hero’s welcome. If Mr Johnson had been forced from office in the UK at that point in time it would have sent exactly the wrong message to Ukraine and beyond as it may well have signalled UK disapproval of Mr Johnson’s support for Ukraine. It would have been the wrong time to remove Mr Johnson from office and Mr Ross accordingly withdrew his request to that effect. That was on the principle of giving assistance to the oppressed against the oppressor.

Then the Ukrainian appreciation of Mr Johnson’s heroics came to be overshadowed by their desperate need for armaments and further problems emerged with Mr Johnson’s leadership including a lack of frankness, an intention to change the ministerial code and an apparent lack of insight into his own failings. The Tory parliamentary party appeared to be finding the will to at least initiate the removal from office of Mr Johnson; Mr Ross then submitted his letter of support for a vote of (no) confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership on the principle of the requirement for fitness for office.

There is no evidence that Mr Ross has, at any time, changed his principled objection to Mr Johnson’s conduct in office. Anyone who criticises Mr Ross for withdrawing his earlier call for Mr Johnson to leave office puts blinkered political point-scoring above support for the outstandingly courageous Ukrainian war effort and insults that effort.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.


ADAM Tomkins ("I voted for Johnson as leader but he’s betrayed all my party holds dear", The Herald, June 8) should be asking himself not why Boris Johnson should quit as PM but why he voted for him as leader of the Tory Party in the first place. Voting for a serial liar, a serial adulterer who ditched his wife while she was undergoing cancer treatment and who was a disaster as Foreign Secretary was surely a cynical move, based on his appeal as a Brexit vote-winner without considering the consequences of his making multiple promises he had no intention of keeping.

Sam Craig, Glasgow.

* I DIDN'T know whether to laugh or cry this morning when I read your columnist Adam Tomkins, a noted academic and therefore presumably a man of intelligence, and two regular correspondents with a right-wing anti-SNP bias, Richard Allison and William Loneskie (Letters, June 8). All three seem to have suddenly realised that Boris Johnson is a chancer.

He's been behaving like this for 15 years for goodness sake. In full sight, with no apologies and in plain contempt for the people of the UK. Where have you been, gentlemen? Where on earth have you been?

John Jamieson, Ayr.


THERE’S a saying that, in the House of Commons, the front benches have the Opposition across the aisle and their enemies behind them. Given recent events, it’s clearly true. There are 650 MPs representing us all and Boris Johnson has the support of only 211, less than a third.

It takes a peculiar arrogance to carry on regardless in a situation like that, and I can only assume that comes from a public school education and a privileged upbringing.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


BY supporting the most incompetent Prime Minister in history the spineless 211 who did so have at least shown what they think of Britain and its people. Utter contempt.

I'm sure that the vast majority of those who voted for this bunch of self-serving charlatans are decent people. It's to be hoped that they show their decency by never voting for any of this appalling crew in any future ballot.

Dave Henderson, Glasgow.


WHILE Boris Johnson is the author of his own misfortunes, it is odd that all the obloquy has been directed at him following Sue Gray’s report, which identifies that the overwhelming extent, duration and excesses of the law-breaking events were initiated, authorised, and attended by senior civil servants, from the all-powerful Sir Humphreys downwards, and moreover not so much in No 10 itself but in Whitehall departments.

The buck may stop with him, but it passed numerous top dogs on the way, not to mention the police officers who appear to have condoned the law-breaking, unlike their colleagues elsewhere. Will they all go unpunished, with one of them even in line to be our ambassador in Saudi Arabia?

John Birkett, St Andrews.


NICOLA Sturgeon has called Boris Johnson a "danger to democracy", but her Government's attempt to mount another independence referendum is a similar situation. Having been literally forced to make public the Scottish Government's advice over indyref2 , the public have been handed yet more SNP spin ("Government publishes legal advice on Indyref2 after long-running battle", The Herald, June 8).

There is a huge difference between simply asking for another referendum and having the actual powers to hold one. This key issue has not been made clear.

The last time the question of independence was put to Scots, more than 55 per cent rejected it. This is the only true benchmark of public opinion we have, hence for the SNP /Green government to commit £20 million of public money to only one side of the argument is not even-handed. This money is needed for far more important priorities. Long Covid is affecting tens of thousands of Scots right now yet there is no clinic to treat this. This is a national scandal. Wasting taxpayers' money on a patently one-sided un-democratic whim is another. This is a true danger to democracy.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.


DAVID Patrick (Letters, June 8) states confidently “that the Scottish people have already voted that they want a second referendum on Scottish independence". I am not so sure, as it all depends on the yardstick you apply to measure how the people voted to reach that conclusion.

Before a Holyrood election the different political parties publish their respective manifestos which are comprehensive statements of intent on many issues, including supporting or opposing independence. That election is to settle the make-up of the Scottish executive with currently the SNP, propped up by the Greens, in the majority. As both supported independence in their manifestos, the votes they received from the people must be the basis for Mr Patrick’s stated view. The difficulty I have with that is I believe in the last Holyrood election more people voted for the parties opposing independence than for those supporting it.

Bearing in mind the sovereignty of the people, my question then is which better reflects what the people want, the number of seats won or the number of votes cast?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.


NEIL Bowman's letter headed "Bread and circuses" (June 7) takes hyperbole to a new level. Was he really watching the same events as the rest of us? The Mall was full of crowds of people, respectfully cheering a Queen who deserves all the praise given to her during the Jubilee celebrations. To describe the scene as "a vulgarity of Union flags reminiscent of Nazi excess" is beyond ridiculous. Would he describe the massed ranks of flag-waving SNP supporters in the same way? Probably not.

Elizabeth Mueller, Glasgow.

Read more: Will Sturgeon be able to keep a straight face when Ross turns up at FMQs?