Douglas Ross car crash BBC radio interview in full as he defends ‘truthful’ Boris Johnson

Douglas Ross has defended Boris Johnson and believes he is a “truthful man” after he was fined for breaching covid rules during lockdown in 2020.

The Scottish Conservative leader took to the airwaves today after he previously called for the Prime Minister to resign over the affair.

The PM, his wife Carrie and the Chancellor all apologized on Tuesday and confirmed they had paid fines imposed by the Metropolitan Police over a party held on June 19, 2020 to mark Johnson’s 56th birthday.

During a car crash interview on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland the Moray MP was asked three times if he thought Johnson was a “truthful man”.

Despite dodging the question Ross, who is also an MSP in the Scottish Parliament, said he believed the PM was truthful.

It comes after Johnson told the House of Commons that all guidance was following during lockdown and no rules were broken.

Yesterday Johnson said it “did not occur” to him that the gathering might be breaching Covid rules, while Rishi Sunak said he understood that “for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence.”

Ross was asked a number of questions around the topic of honesty during the radio interview earlier today.

Here is the exchange between host Gary Robertson (GR) and Ross (DR) in full:

GR : “Is the Prime Minister a truthful man?”

DR : “I’ve had my differences with the Prime Minister, they’ve been well documented.

“We’ve now had a thorough Met Police investigation and a number of fines have been issued to people working in and around Downing Street, including the prime minister.

“He has accepted that fixed penalty notice and he has paid the fine.

“I share the anger and fury that people have about this now and have had for months.

“I’m also looking at the global situation. I think even the Prime Minister’s harshest critics would agree that he and the UK Government have responded well to the situation in Ukraine.

“We’ve heard just this morning that the President of the United States describing that as genocide, so there are serious issues here at home but also global issues that we have to address and that’s my focus and my priority right now.”

GR : “To go back to my question, do you think the Prime Minister’s a truthful man?”

DR : “Well, you know, I’ve just gone through everything that we’re dealing with.”

GR : “I’m asking you a specific question. Do you think the Prime Minister is a truthful man?”

DR : “Yes. He’s dealing with the situation in Ukraine and he’s dealing with the situation at home here as well.”

GR : “On the first of December when the Prime Minister said ‘what I can tell you tell the right honorable gentleman’ in reply to Keir Starmer is that all guidance was followed completely at Number 10.

“Is that true?”

DR : “Well clearly not, because the police have decided that fixed penalty notices had to be issued.”

GR : “So he’s a truthful man but in that instance, that wasn’t the truth?”

DR : “The Prime Minister has to explain why he said that and he believed it to be the case.

“Clearly I have thought something different, but the Met Police have been very clear they have issued these fixed penalty notices.

“They have been accepted by the Prime Minister, they have been paid by the Prime Minister and I think that process is right that the police were allowed time to investigate to come to a conclusion and no one is above the law.

“That’s been proven by the issuing of these ends to the Prime Minister and others in Downing Street.”

‘Parliament has been misled hasn’t it?’

Ross was then asked about if Johnson had misled parliament over previous statements.

GR : “That statement on the first of December in Parliament wasn’t true. So parliament was misled, wasn’t it?”

DR : “Well, again, I’ve just said if the Prime Minister believed he hadn’t broken the rules, that’s for him.”

GR : “That’s not what he said. He said ‘what I can tell the right honorable gentleman is that all guidance was followed completely in number 10’. Parliament has been misled, hasn’t it?”

DR : “The Prime Minister has to explain why he said that to Kier Starmer and the statements he made at the dispatch box in the House of Commons.

“It’s quite clear both with the Met Police investigation, the issuing of the fines and the acceptance of that fine by the Prime Minister that that statement is not correct.”

GR : “So there’s no other conclusion is there other than parliament was misled?”

DR : “The Prime Minister has to explain why he said that, what he believed at the time because it’s clearly not the case in terms of what has been thoroughly investigated by the Met Police, the conclusions they’ve reached and the acceptance of those conclusions by the Prime Minister.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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