A TORY MSP has insisted his party is not disintegrating as a result of the row over Boris Johnson and lockdown parties in Downing Street.

Craig Hoy denied the Conservatives were splitting into “two parties” on either side of the border after Scottish leader Douglas Ross called on Mr Johnson to resign.

The call led to Mr Ross being attacked by the PM’s cabinet colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg, who dismissed the Moray MP as having always been “quite a lightweight figure”. 

Mr Hoy, a shadow health spokesman and South Scotland MSP, admitted the affair had become “unhelpful” to Tory prospects in Scotland and a “distraction”.

But he denied it had undermined the Union, and told BBC Radio Scotland there remained “unanimity” throughout the Tory party on a commitment to a continuing United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Letters: Rees-Mogg was right, Douglas Ross is a lightweight

Mr Hoy was speaking after fresh overnight allegations about partying in Number 10.

The Telegraph revealed there had been two leaving parties on April 16 last year, the evening before the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, when the Queen was mourning in isolation.

James Slack, the PM’s former director of communications, who was leaving to become deputy editor of the Sun, has now apologised for the “anger and hurt” his party caused. 

“This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility,” he said.

Mr Hoy said it was “very hard to understand” how anyone thought the behaviour was acceptable, particularly a supposed expert in political communications like Mr Slack.

He said: “These are people who are meant to understand political communications.

“I worked in political communications for a long time, that’s why I find it very hard to understand how they ever thought this would be an OK way to behave.”

Mr Hoy was asked if the spat between Mr Rees-Mogg and Mr Ross showed the Tories were becoming “two different parties”.

READ MORE: James Slack apologises for Downing Street party on eve of Prince Philip's funeral

He replied: “We’re not two parties at all. Not at all.  

“There’s absolute unanimity that we believe in Scotland remaining in the UK.

“We want to take the fight to the SNP, we want to hold Nicola Sturgeon to account for her failures in office. There’s absolute broad agreement in relation to that.”

He said  “the majority, if not all” of the 31 Tory MSPs backed Mr Ross’s position on wanting Mr Johnson to quit, but refused to say if Scottish Tory MPs also supported him. 

Asked about the “lightweight” remark, Mr Hoy said: “Jacob Rees-Mogg is entitled to his view and it’s no surprise to you that I disagree with him.

“I think if you look across the cabinet there was no support for what Jacob Rees-Mogg said. Many MPs and also members of the cabinet, including (Scottish Secretary) Alister Jack, disagreed with him.”

Asked if the comments were damaging for the Union, Mr Hoy said: “No, I don’t think they were damaging for the Union at all. The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party’s credentials on the Union are absolutely firm. 

“We are absolutely clear in our commitment to the Union. I understand that Jacob Rees-Mogg expresses himself in a particular way. He’s entitled to do that. But he does not speak for the Scottish Conservatives or for my colleagues at Westminster.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson row - Downing Street staff 'partied' while Queen mourned

Asked how worried he was about the impact of the affair on the Tory vote in Scotland, he said Mr Ross had won a record number of votes for the party last May.

He said: “This is clearly not a helpful situation. It is a distraction from the job that we want to do, which is to be talking about the SNP’s failures on schools, hospitals, roads and railways.”

Asked if the Scottish Tories would be inviting Boris Johnson to their spring conference, after reports he would not be, Mr Hoy said there had been no discussion on the subject yet.”