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Boris Johnson still has my full support, says Scottish Secretary Alister Jack

Mr Jack was speaking after the Sue Gray report revealed serious breaches of lockdown restrictions at 10 Downing Street.

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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack pledged his ‘full support’ for the Prime Minister (James Manning/PA)

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack pledged his ‘full support’ for the Prime Minister (James Manning/PA)

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack pledged his ‘full support’ for the Prime Minister (James Manning/PA)

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has the “full support” of his Scottish Secretary after the publication of the Sue Gray report.

The senior civil servant’s report, released on Wednesday, gave details of gatherings at which officials drank so much they were sick, sang karaoke, became involved in altercations and abused security and cleaning staff at a time when millions of people across the country were unable to see friends and family.

Ms Gray said “senior leadership” within Number 10 should “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to parties being held during 2020 and 2021.

In a statement to the House of Commons following its publication, the Prime Minister said he was “humbled”, but attempted to play down his personal involvement, which resulted in the Met Police issuing him with a fine before the report was released.

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Boris Johnson addressed MPs on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA)

Boris Johnson addressed MPs on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA)

PA

Boris Johnson addressed MPs on Wednesday (Victoria Jones/PA)

After Mr Johnson faced MPs, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack pledged his support for the Prime Minister.

“I understand that people are angry about what happened in Downing Street,” Mr Jack said.

“The Prime Minister has apologised again today, and made clear that he takes full responsibility for what went on in No 10.

“Lessons have been learned and changes have been made within No 10.

“The Prime Minister has my full support. He is tackling the rising cost of living at home and leading the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Now, we all need to get behind him and back him in dealing with these important issues.”

Anger has also been directed at Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who previously submitted a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister before rescinding it – citing the need for stability at the top of Government following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But the report has spurred political opponents north of the border to urge him to think again.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar called on Mr Ross to “grow a backbone”, adding: “Boris Johnson has shown a total disrespect for his own staff and for the British public.

“If there is to be any shred of decency, morality and dignity back in our politics then Boris Johnson must resign, and if the Conservative Party had any integrity whatsoever they would kick him out.

“If they fail to do so it is on us, the British people, to unite across the country to boot him out of office.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This is also a defining moment for Douglas Ross in his leadership of the Scottish Conservatives.

“I have spoken to members of his party and Conservative voters who are shocked that he is still standing by a Prime Minister who is only out for himself. He needs to grow a backbone and submit his letter of no confidence.

“Every household in Britain faces eye-watering costs at the petrol pumps, sky-rocketing food prices and massive energy bills. It needs new hope and new leadership.”

SNP MSP Graeme Dey said Mr Ross is “out of excuses”.

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Douglas Ross previously called for the Prime Minister to stand down (Jane Barlow/PA)

Douglas Ross previously called for the Prime Minister to stand down (Jane Barlow/PA)

PA

Douglas Ross previously called for the Prime Minister to stand down (Jane Barlow/PA)

He added: “As has been confirmed by the Sue Gray report, the Prime Minister broke the law, lied to the House of Commons and lied to the public.

“The Scottish Tory leader is also at risk of losing authority within his own party – as Tory MSPs defy his leadership to call for the resignation of Boris Johnson.

“The Tories should be focusing on tackling the cost-of-living crisis they have created, but instead they are distracted by infighting about their bosses at Westminster.

“Boris Johnson’s actions are disgraceful, either Tory MPs should remove him or he should do the decent thing, for once, and resign.

“If Douglas Ross has a shred of credibility left, he will agree that the Prime Minister’s time is up and he will call for his resignation.”

Scottish Tory MSP Finlay Carson said he would be “considering his position” if the Gray report were written about him.

“I think if the report had been about me, I certainly would be considering my position,” he told ITV Border.

“My views on that haven’t changed since January, it’s now down to Westminster through the Privileges Committee and we’ll just wait and see what they say.”

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