Douglas Ross: I’m not afraid to criticise my own party over exam row

New Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross insisted he was not afraid to criticise his own party after suggestions the UK Government’s controversial handling of A-level results put him in an awkward position.

Mr Ross, who became party leader only last week, had been heavily critical of the Scottish Government as they were forced to perform a U-turn over moderated grades which left more than 124,000 results downgraded.

After the UK Government’s method of moderating English A-level grades prompted a similar outcry on Thursday, Mr Ross tweeted: “Some say the exam results in England cause me difficulties.

“My job as leader of @ScotTories is to get the best for young people & everyone in Scotland. It’s not my job to support the UK government on everything. I’ll challenge them when I believe they’re wrong,” he added.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted that the Tories were showing signs of hypocrisy when she pointed to a tweet from the Scottish Conservatives which was deleted amid Thursday’s uproar in England.

The original post, from Wednesday, had read: “Nicola Sturgeon presided over one of the biggest scandals in the history of devolution, which shattered the life chances of thousands of Scottish pupils. Her belated apology is not good enough for the teachers, parents and pupils who were effected by this fiasco.”

Ms Sturgeon claimed that the removal was “telling”.

However, the Scottish Tories insisted the tweet was deleted because of a spelling error, responding: “We deleted a tweet because of one mistaken letter. You took a week to correct the grades of 75,000 pupils.”