Ruth Davidson fought back tears on live TV tonight as she accused Boris Johnson of ‘degrading’ politics.
In an emotional interview with Channel 4 News, the former Scottish Conservatives leader tore into the Prime Minister following the part-publication of a civil service report into the Downing Street party scandal.
Davidson, who quit Holyrood last year to accept a Tory peerage, said members of the public had been made to feel “like idiots” for following strict lockdown rules in 2020 while Johnson’s Downing Street staff allegedly held boozy social gatherings.
It comes as Johnson was forced to apologize on Monday as he faced fresh calls to resign after Sue Gray’s limited inquiry criticized “failures of leadership and judgment.”
Gray’s full investigation into claims of lockdown-busting parties in No 10 has been sidelined while the Metropolitan Police look into 12 separate alleged breaches of the rules in 2020 and 2021.
They include events where the Prime Minister has admitted being present and another in the flat he shares with his wife Carrie Johnson in Downing Street.
Davidson has been a vocal critic of Johnson for several years but her accusations chime with wider discontent among Tories north of the Border.
Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross and the majority of his MSPs at Holyrood have openly called for the Prime Minister to resign in the wake of partygate.
Asked what the consequences would be for the country if Johnson clings to power, Davidson replied: “It doesn’t matter the color of rosette you wear come election time.
“If you believe in the institutions of this country, and I do, you don’t want to see them undermined, you don’t want to see them degraded.
“To have a fabric of a society you need to have trust in the institutions that are there to both serve us and lead people in this country.
“The degradation which is occurring daily is going to be so hard to recover, and at a time when the resilience of the country is so low because of these last few years.
“Because of the difficulties that we have had, because of the hardships people have faced, it is more important than ever that we have a Prime Minister that leads by example.
“Because if you are not leading by example, at a time of national crisis, you’re just not leading.”
Asked by presenter Cathy Newman if she was upset by what she had witnessed today, Davidson added: “I am upset.
“I’m upset because of, not just because of things that myself and my family and friends missed, but I had been working in the Scottish Parliament, I had seen constituents that lost businesses, people who feel guilty that they didn’t go to the care home to see their parents, they didn’t hug a friend at a funeral, because they didn’t play by the rules.
“And then you look at what happened at Number 10.
“And they feel like idiots. And they shouldn’t be made to feel like that.”
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