The National:

IT is difficult to know if Andrew Bowie's decision to resign as vice-chair of the Conservative Party falls into the realm of an "honourable resignation" or not.

In the despair of these dark days, cloaked in Westminster corruption, we see this dignified departure less often, but it is difficult to conclude that Bowie’s departure from a sinking Tory ship named "Boris" is entirely altruistic.

Bowie’s resignation is not insignificant. He was a key adviser to Theresa May when she was prime minister, serving as her parliamentary private secretary.

Bowie said he requested to step down, but agreed to stay in post until a successor has been appointed. Crucially, he has reportedly felt that he could not continue to defend the government after the prime minister’s botched bid to save a colleague (Owen Paterson MP) from suspension and overhaul the standards system.

READ MORE: The mystery around Andrew Bowie's resignation as vice-chair of the Tory party

And now we have the corruption allegations continuing with another Tory MP, Geoffrey Cox, in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps Bowie began to feel morality and parliamentary ethics slipping away from him, pulling him towards a political abyss.

So the writing was on the wall in big bold letters and in politics, timing can be everything. Disappointingly, the resignation may be less dramatic than initial reports made out. But what is titanic in scope and impact is what this is part of, and whether we are on the verge of a transformational change in Tory leadership or indeed, whether a political coup will cause a change in direction for the Trumpian distaste that Boris and the front bench leave in the mouth. It’s akin to Republicans deserting Trump (below) to save their political life for another day.

The National: Former US president Donald Trump

Bowie has admirably said he wants to concentrate on his constituency, so it does indeed beg the question: why now?

"He doesn’t want to make a fuss but he’s unable to support the government after the events of recent days,” a friend of the MP told the Reaction website. I doubt it is just the recent.

It comes back to timing. Despite being fiercely loyal to Johnson, Bowie was snubbed by the Prime Minister in a reshuffle, with the government placing the businessman and Tory donor Malcolm Offord in the House of Lords and appointing him as a minister in the Scotland Office, bypassing the party's Scottish MPs.

Additionally, a majority of Aberdeenshire voters voted to remain in the European Union in 2016, as did Bowie himself. He has trodden a tightrope ever since.

READ MORE: Demand for Tory donor Malcolm Offord to have peerage withdrawn amid cronyism row

But it will haunt Bowie that he was among the Scottish Tory MPs who voted to help Paterson avoid suspension - despite Paterson being found guilty of breaking the rules. Let us shed no tears over that disgraceful fact.

Indeed, it is the same Andrew Bowie that recently stated on television that the younger generations will not see any benefit from Brexit, a stunning admission. While his honesty (a rare thing from the Tories these days) was appreciated, it would’ve been of better use had he spoken up in Parliament rather than voting, as he did numerous times, to drag us out of the EU when the nature of any deal was debated.

I recall one such member of that younger generation exclaiming: “Young people like myself have been shafted by Andrew Bowie and his Tory colleagues who’ve thrown our opportunities under the bus to satisfy their Brexit obsession which we’ll be left to pick up the tab on for decades to come."

For Andrew, maybe that sort of statement sticks with you, plays with your conscience, and unravels in a spiral of discontent and doubt.

On a subject close to my own constituency heart, Bowie has spoken about promoting the benefits of Brexit to Scotland’s fishing industry.

He should also be haunted by his statement: “We will not let our fishing industry down." 

"We promised we would give Great Britain and Northern Ireland its seat back at the table as an independent coastal state and we will."

The day you stop listening to your conscience is the day you quit politics. I’d like to think that this resignation by Andrew Bowie will be a weight off a heavy heart.