DOUGLAS Ross will be the next First Minister of Scotland, a leading member of Boris Johnson's Cabinet has predicted.

Liz Truss, the UK International Trade Secretary, said she thought the Tories would win the next Holyrood election. 

She made the comments in an interview with The Herald during a two-day visit to Scotland. 

READ MORE: Liz Truss interview: Scotland will reap 'huge benefits' from trade deals

Elsewhere, Ms Truss repeatedly refused to engage with questions about the impact of a physical border between Scotland and England in the event of independence. 

She insisted Scotland will reap “huge benefits” from the Australia trade deal struck last month, while Brexit is bringing “more opportunities”.

Asked what she made of the Scottish Conservative leader, Ms Truss said Mr Ross was “fantastic”. 

Asked if she thought he would be the next First Minister of Scotland, she said: “Yes.”

Asked if she thought he would win the next election, Ms Truss replied: “I do. He’s a great guy.”

Elsewhere, Ms Truss was asked why Prime Minister Boris Johnson failed to visit Scotland during the Holyrood election campaign. 

She said: “I don’t know the details of the Prime Minister’s diary, but of course there have been issues travelling because of Covid. 

“I’m very pleased to be up here in Scotland, and as I’ve said we are expanding trade presence in Scotland, so that we get more feedback from Scottish businesses about exactly what they want from our trade negotiations, and also we’re able to channel more international investment into Scotland. 

“We’ve got a big investment summit coming up this October.

"I’m determined that a significant amount of that investment should go into Scottish businesses where there are huge opportunities.”

Ms Truss said she was sure Mr Johnson would be in Scotland “very soon”.