Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has accused Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack of ‘shaming’ the office of Secretary of State for Scotland, after the Tory MP gave his full backing to discredited Prime Minister Boris Johnson despite a scathing report into allegations of breaches of lockdown rules in Downing Street.

The report carried out by senior Civil Servant Sue Gray highlighted a “failure of leadership” for allowing parties to take place in Downing Street when the country was under strict lockdown.

Despite the findings, Alister Jack issued a statement last week giving Boris Johnston his “full support” saying the Prime Minister “has a track record to be proud of”.

In response Colin Smyth said: “Alister Jack’s statement insults his constituents who followed the rules by claiming Boris Johnson, who has admitting breaking them, has a track record to be proud of.

“During lockdown, I had constituents of mine and Mr Jack’s on the phone in tears because they missed the funerals of family and friends at a time Boris Johnson was partying away in Downing Street.

“When you compare the actions of the great statesmen and women who have held the position of Secretary of State for Scotland to the comments of Alister Jack, Mr Jack really is shaming the office he holds.

“We know that if Boris Johnston had a shred of decency and resigned, Alister Jack would be sacked by the next Tory Leader and that’s why he is desperately trying to save his discredited leader. But it is time he put the views of his constituents, and even his own local Tory MSP and Scottish Leader, before his own job and told Boris Johnston to quit.”

The local Labour MSP also criticised Tory MP David Mundell and MSP Oliver Mundell for failing to “come off the fence” and say whether they back Boris Johnson.

Colin Smyth said: “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a view on whether Boris Johnson should resign except David and Oliver Mundell.

“Their constituents deserve to know where their local politicians stand on the issue and they can no longer hide behind waiting for the Sue Gray report. Their failure to come off the fence and call for Boris Johnston to go shows they are not any better than he is.”

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