Fact-Checking with the Scottish Tories
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Coming back to earth from the dopamine hit of Celebrity Feudalism was always going to be harsh, but for the Scottish Tories it’s been a bit of a crash-landing.
Kieran Andrews, the Scottish Political Editor of the Times had an ‘exclusive’ of the woes of the poor Tories under Moray Ross. After reports of multiple senior departures from the party – including Oliver Mundell leaving the frontbench team “for personal reasons”, Jon Novakovic (Ross’s chief of staff), David Bateman (director of communications), Harley Lothian (head of digital), and Rebecca Fraser (deputy chief of staff) – worse was to come.
To steady the (sinking) ship the Tories needed some fresh blood, a firm hand. Step in Craig Patterson, a man with years of experience and sure to bring some sense and stability to the Scottish Conservatives tragic chaos.
It didn’t quite work out like that. Like The Apprentice cv round it all went horribly wrong.
As Kieran Andrews reported: “A political operative who was set to become a senior aide to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives has had his job offer withdrawn after he was accused of inventing parts of his CV.
Craig Paterson was billed by Douglas Ross as having been a “senior political adviser” to Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader, in a note announcing his appointment as the party’s new head of research. However, the offer has been hurriedly withdrawn after senior Conservatives were informed that Paterson had never worked for the former Scottish secretary. Murphy has said that he had “never knowingly met this guy let alone employed him in any role, ever” while people who worked closely with Murphy separately told The Times that Paterson had not been part of the former East Renfrewshire MP’s constituency or Westminster teams.”
A Scottish Conservative source said: “The web of lies concocted by this man is incredible. He embellished a brief period at Labour into his own fairytale.” A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “We will no longer be hiring this person after new information came to light.”
Red faces all round, as the public watched the astonishing incompetence of the Conservatives on show. I mean, as Mark Nixon has pointed out “I’m just laughing that they saw he had been in that post with Murphy – you know the one who saw, as leader, Labour go from 41 seats to 1 in Scotland – and thought “hey, he’s good, let’s give him a job”.
And such is the state of Unionist politics in Scotland that you often can’t put a fag paper between them.
But there’s a twist.
As sharp-eyed James Dewar points out, the journalist who first broke the story explaining the great appointment, was, er, Kieran Andrews.
The Scottish Tories under Douglas Ross are peeling apart in the aftermath of the Johnson debacle and their on-off support for the beleaguered ex-PM. They now face further electoral carnage under the leadership of Liz Truss and many of them are heading for the exits.