DOUGLAS Ross’s Scottish Tories are facing “death by a thousand cuts” amid unrest at his leadership, according to figures within the party.

Speaking to the Press and Journal, anonymous MSPs and Conservative figures warned that the party could be “destroyed” at the next Holyrood election.

However, the idea that Ross could face an imminent challenge to his leadership – as rumours have suggested could happen before recess ends – was dismissed.

One MSP told that paper: “My view is that it will be death by a thousand cuts rather than an immediate leadership challenge.

“I think it will come home to roost in 2026 because what you’ll have is a Labour vote that’s gone up, and that will destroy us on the list votes for Holyrood.”

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They went on: “It’s only going to get worse because the group of people disaffected is only going to increase – and it’s already very high at the moment.

“There are a lot of people who are very unhappy – about the Conservative narrative, about the election strategy. It looks like we’ve given up on being the opposition.”

In the 2021 Scottish parliamentary elections, the Tories won five constituency votes. The remainder of their 31 MSPs all came from the regional lists.

Another Conservative MSP also told the Press and Journal there was “a lot of frustration in the party”, especially with Labour dominating the media narrative and being seen as the natural competitor to the SNP.

The National: Jamie Greene in Holyrood

“That’s created some pent up frustrations and some will inevitably be directed at colleagues, including the leader,” the MSP said, suggesting that failure on Ross’s part was behind some of the frustration.

Ross, the MP for Moray as well as an MSP for the Highlands and Islands, also faced internal criticism for dismissing Jamie Greene (above) from his frontbench.

Greene, who is whispered about as a possible successor to Ross, was removed as Scottish Tory justice spokesperson in late June.

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There were suggestions, including from Greene himself, that the sacking had come because he had supported the Gender Recognition Reform Bill – as health spokesperson Sandesh Gulhane also did.

But one Tory source suggested it was instead retaliation for Greene having held out on giving Ross his support when he was bidding to become group leader in 2020.

The SNP lept on the criticism of Ross from within his own party, saying it was a "miracle" he was still heading up the Scottish Tories.

MSP Karen Adam (below) said: "Douglas Ross has consistently been on the wrong side of public opinion – whether that be in failing to stand up for Scottish democracy, inflicting a disastrous Brexit, or backing Liz Truss's economy wrecking mini budget. 

The National: Karen Adam MSP SNP free.

"Given his series of policy disasters it is a miracle that Douglas Ross remains in his position, and it will come as no surprise to anyone to hear that Scottish Tory HQ is in disarray. 

"The Scottish public have known for a long time that Douglas Ross was not fit to lead so you have to ask yourself why it has taken Tory MSPs so long to figure it out."

Earlier this week, Ross attempted to grab headlines ahead of Holyrood’s return from recess with what the Tories touted as a “keynote speech” on the economy.

But he was criticised for ignoring Brexit in that speech, with Energy Secretary Neil Gray suggesting the omission meant Ross’s ideas lacked any credibility.

The Scottish Conservatives said: “Douglas is fully focused on holding the failing SNP government to account and concentrating on the public’s real priorities, as he did in Tuesday’s keynote speech outlining his positive vision for the Scottish economy.”