DOUGLAS Ross is facing further ridicule over his rollercoaster relationship with Boris Johnson, saying the man he wanted to quit in January is now “fit for office”.

The Scottish Tory leader said the Prime Minister was worthy of his post because of the war in Ukraine, but added that didn’t undo his previous conduct in Downing Street.

The SNP said Mr Ross was so poor he was "unfit for opposition".

Mr Ross was one of the first Tory MPs to call for Mr Johnson to quit over the partygate scandal, saying in January his position was “no longer tenable”.

However in March, he reversed his position, withdrew his no confidence letter in Mr Johnson, and welcomed him to the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen.

He said the war in Ukraine meant it was “not the time to be discussing resignations”.

Even after Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were fined by the police for attending a birthday party for the PM in Downing Street during lockdown, Mr Ross stuck to his position. More fines are expected.

His predecessor Ruth Davidson has called Mr Johnson “unfit for office”

In an interview with the Scotsman, Mr Ross was asked if Mr Johnson was “fit for office” and replied: “Yes, because he is leading the UK response to this crisis at the moment.

“But that doesn’t in any way diminish what he did and the actions that have been taken by those who investigate it.

“He is fit for office to continue with what the UK Government have done, his Government has done, to help the people of Ukraine.

“That’s not just me saying it, that’s President (Volodymyr Zelensky) who singled out Boris Johnson as a Western leader who has provided some of the greatest support.

“That relationship I don’t believe should just be cut off because clearly President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine welcome the support they’ve had from the Prime Minister and the UK Government.”

Mr Ross also said he had not seen anything that would “change his mind” on the Prime Minister’s position.

“Would it have been credible for me to have kept my letter in if at the same time I was saying ‘we have to be united in standing with the people of Ukraine’, in the same way that Keir Starmer said as the conflict started now wasn’t the time to replace the Prime Minister.

“Ian Blackford [the SNP Westminster leader] stood up in the House of Commons and called for unity. I agreed with them when they said that.

“I just haven’t seen anything to change my mind that has potentially changed theirs.”

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Tory leader’s comments show a “lack of principle” and “consistency”.

During a council election campaign visit to Barrowfield Community Centre in Glasgow today, the First Minister said Boris Johnson should have “resigned already”.

She said: “I don’t think he’s fit for office and it’s not that long ago that Douglas Ross said he wasn’t fit for office and he should resign.

“Douglas Ross doesn’t appear to be able to hold to one opinion for more than a couple of days at a time.

“It just shows, I think, a lack of real principle. A lack of real resolve and consistency, and these are things people will draw conclusions on about Douglas Ross, but I think people have already largely made up their minds about Boris Johnson and he is deeply unfit for office.

She said the problems with the Conservative Party also went beyond Mr Johnson’s leadership.

After his March U-turn, Mr Ross’s opponents called him “spineless”.

Kirsten Oswald MP, the SNP's Westminster Deputy leader, said: "Boris Johnson is unfit for office, and Douglas Ross is unfit even for opposition.

“It's little wonder his Westminster bosses dismiss him as a 'lightweight.'

"No one can take Douglas Ross seriously, after his endless U-turns on whether Boris Johnson should go.

"On May 5th, people in Scotland can send a message to law-breaking Boris Johnson and flip-flopping Douglas Ross and prioritise action to tackle the Tory-made cost of living crisis by voting SNP in the local council elections."