SCOTLAND Office minister Douglas Ross has resigned from his position over the Dominic Cummings row.
Posting on his Twitter this morning the Moray MP wrote: “I haven’t commented publicly on the situation with Dominic Cummings as I have waited to hear the full details.
I haven’t commented publicly on the situation with Dominic Cummings as I have waited to hear the full details. I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remains aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with. As a result I have resigned as a government Minister. pic.twitter.com/6yXLyMzItJ
— Douglas Ross MP (@Douglas4Moray) May 26, 2020
“I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remains aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with.
“As a result I have resigned as a government minister.”
The move comes after the Prime Minister’s top adviser gave an unprecedented press conference from Downing Street’s Rose Garden yesterday to explain why he travelled 250 miles from London to his parents’ Durham farm with his family while sick with Covid-19.
Cummings did not offer an apology and argued he had acted legally and reasonably, putting the needs of his wife and young son first and ensuring they would have access to childcare if they became very unwell with the coronavirus.
READ MORE: Calls for sacking mount after Dominic Cummings fails to apologise
In his statement Ross said while he has “relished” his Scotland Office position, “events over the last few days mean I can no longer serve as a member of this government”.
He went on: “I have never met Dominic Cummings so my judgement on this matter has always been open and I accept his statement on Monday afternoon clarified the actions he took in what he felt were the best interests of his family.
“However, these were decisions many others felt were not available to them.
“As a father myself, my instinct is to always do what is best for my son and wife. We have been fortunate not to have caught this awful virus, but if we did, we are prepared to follow the government advice to stay at home to contain this virus.
“While the intentions may have been well meaning, the reaction to this news shows that Mr Cummings’s interpretation of the government advice was not shared by the vast majority of people who have done as the government asked.
“I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not mourn together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government. I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”
Ross explained he had waited to hear all of the information about Cummings’s trip before making a decision on his future as a minister.
He added he looks forward to continuing to “stand up for people of Moray” from the back benches.
Reacting, former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “Sorry to see @Douglas4Moray resign from the Scotland Office. A talented minister.”
Great loss to the Scotland Office and UK Government, sorry to see him go but entirely respect and understand his decision. I know he will continue to be an excellent MP for Moray as we all seek to tackle this health crisis https://t.co/cLeOANdYYc
— Jackson Carlaw MSP (@Jackson_Carlaw) May 26, 2020
Current leader Jackson Carlaw added: “Great loss to the Scotland Office and UK Government, sorry to see him go but entirely respect and understand his decision. I know he will continue to be an excellent MP for Moray as we all seek to tackle this health crisis.”
So far Scottish Tories have avoided discussing Cummings’s journey publicly and would not send anyone on to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland today when asked for a representative to talk about the row.