JACOB Rees-Mogg has branded the leader of the Scottish Conservatives as “a lightweight” figure after he called on Boris Johnson to resign.

Mr Ross is the highest profile Conservative to call for the Prime Minister to go, claiming Mr Johnson’s position is now “untenable” after admitting to attending a party thrown in the Downing Street garden during lockdown.

It is claimed that all 31 Scottish Tory MSPs believe Mr Johnson should step down.

Boris Johnson said at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday that he had attended the event, to which more around 100 people were invited, for about 25 minutes, perceiving it to be a “work event”.


READ MORE: Johnson's resignation infighting risks 'imploding' Tory Party, warns John Curtice

Mr Ross said: “I said, yesterday, if the Prime Minister attended this gathering, event in Downing Street on May 20 2020, he could not continue as Prime Minister so, regretfully, I have to say his position is no longer tenable.”

He added: “There was one simple question to answer yesterday, indeed, from Monday night when we saw this invitation which was to more than 100 people asking them to join others in the Downing Street garden and bring their own booze.

“If the Prime Minister was there, and he accepted today that he was, then I felt he could not continue.”

But Mr Rees-Mogg told BBC’s Newsnight: “Douglas Ross has always been quite a lightweight figure.”

He said the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, who is supportive of the PM, was “much more substantial and important”.

READ MORE: Michael Gove brushes off Douglas Ross quit call as senior Tories rally round Boris

The leader of the Commons made the swipe after presenter Kirsty Wark’s claimed Newsnight had been told all 31 Scottish Tory MSPs believe Mr Johnson should step down.

Earlier, Mr Rees-Mogg told LBC he did not think the Scottish Conservative leader was “a big figure”.

He added: “I don’t think it’s a surprise Douglas Ross takes this view.

“He’s never been a supporter of the prime minister. He has constantly made disobliging comments about the PM.”

READ MORE: Westminster sketch: I have nothing to offer you but tripe, drivel and mince, pleads PM

Rees-Mogg’s jibes were echoed by Michael Gove, who said of the Moray MP: “My instant response is he’s in Elgin and the national Tory leader is in London.”

The Scottish Tory leader said he spoke to the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon “and I set down my reasons and I explained to him my position” although he refused to divulge how the Prime Minister responded.

Mr Ross, who is understood to be sending a letter to the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs expressing his lack of confidence in the Prime Minister, said Mr Johnson believed he “didn’t do anything wrong”.


“But I also have to look at the information I have got in front of me and to stick with the position I made clear yesterday, that if he did attend that party he couldn’t continue as Prime Minister,” he added.

Mr Ross was immediately supported by Scottish Tory colleagues, including former leader Jackson Carlaw and MSPs Murdo Fraser, Liz Smith and Douglas Lumsden, who took to Twitter to back their leader.

The Tory MP said there was “significant unrest and concern” among Conservative members in Westminster and Holyrood over the gathering.