DOUGLAS Ross has insisted he will not step down as Scottish Tory leader if the party sinks to third place in the upcoming council elections.

The head of the Scottish Conservatives claims he will remain in post even if voters desert the party in May.

Ross is facing growing scrutiny over his position after he flip-flopped on the question of whether Boris Johnson should resign for breaking Covid rules and lying to parliament.

READ MORE: Most Tory voters believe Boris Johnson has lied to Parliament on partygate

Polls suggest the party will be preparing for a reckoning after May 5 with one showing the party losing the second place spot to Labour.

The National:

Douglas Ross boards a plane at Leading Edge Flight Training School near Glasgow Airport today/Gordon Terris 

But Ross told The Herald during a campaign visit near Glasgow on Tuesday, he would cling on regardless.

He said: “No, and I am absolutely determined to get a good result for the Scottish Conservatives.

“We saw in the run up to the Holyrood election last year, a number of polls predicted that the Conservatives would go into third place and actually the opposite happened.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross claims SNP are 'beatable' in elections despite stark poll results

"We maintained second place, increased our votes by over 100,000 and at the same time Labour went backwards under Anas Sarwar and got their worst ever result in Scotland. They lost seats and they lost votes.

"So I am very committed to ensuring that we deliver a really strong result in just over a week's time, because we have got some outstanding candidates and some outstanding councillors who had made a real impact of their local areas."

And he insisted the partygate scandal – which has seen the Prime Minister, his wife and the Chancellor all fined for breaking lockdown rules – will not harm the Tories’ chances heading into the vote.

He said voters would “decide for themselves”.