Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
'I don't think he's a big figure': Rees-Mogg shares view on Scot Tory leader Douglas Ross
12 January 2022, 20:35
Jacob Rees-Mogg delivered a swipe at the Scottish Conservative leader tonight, saying Douglas Ross has 'never been a supporter of the Prime Minister,' adding 'I don't think he's a big figure.'
In effort to play down the weight of Mr Ross's remarks calling for Boris Johnson to quit, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Iain Dale: "I don't think it's a surprise that Douglas Ross takes this view.
"He's never been a supporter of the Prime Minister. He has constantly made disobliging comments against the Prime Minister.
"I don't think Douglas Ross is a big figure."
Iain replied: "That almost illustrates why Douglas Ross has said this. To say that the leader of the Scottish Conservatives is not a big figure..."
Mr Rees-Mogg went on: "He has been constantly in opposition to the Prime Minister.. he is not somebody who you would ever expect to say helpful things about the Prime Minister."
Douglas Ross and senior backbencher William Wragg were two senior Tories who called on Boris Johnson to quit today after he was forced to issue a humiliated apology in the 'Partygate' scandal.
Mr Johnson made an effort before PMQs today to calm Tory anger about reports he had attended a "bring your own booze" party during the first lockdown.
He admitted going to the 20 May 2020 gathering for about 25 minutes, so that he could "thank groups of staff."
He said: "I believed implicitly that this was a work event. With hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside.
"I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognised that - even if it could have been said technically to fall within the guidance - there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way."