Ruth Davidson MSP has announced her resignation as leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
The Edinburgh Central MSP won the Scottish Conservative leadership contest back in 2011 with a majority of 566 votes and has since led the party to achieve 13 Scottish Conservative MP’s at the 2017 general election. Her party also became the opposition party in the Scottish Parliament after the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, in which they successfully achieved 31 seats.
In her letter of resignation, Davidson described it as the “privilege of my life” to be the leader of the Scottish Tories and that her party’s role in the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum is the “most important contribution of my working life”.
In acknowledgement of her differences over Brexit when compared to some of her fellow members, Davidson said: “While I have not hidden the conflict I have felt over Brexit, I have attempted to chart a course for our party which recognises and respects the referendum result, while seeking to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks for Scottish businesses and sectors.”
Davidson outlined a change in personal circumstances as a factor in her decision to quit the leadership role saying “the threat of spending hundreds of hours away from home and family now fills me with dread” and that with her son, Finn, she now has to make a “different choice.”
Davidson plans to remain as the MSP for Edingburgh Central until the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021 and “will continue to support,the party, the Prime Minister and Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.”
Numerous politicians have thanked Davidson for her role in Scottish politics with Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeting that he was “delighted” that Davidson would continue to use her “passion and dedication” to keeping the union together, although he will “miss the incredible leadership she has given the party in Scotland.”
Former PM David Cameron tweeted that the party “owe her an enormous debt” and wished Davidson and her family “all the best for the future.”
Local Conservative MP Stephen Kerr tweeted: “I’m very sorry to hear this, Ruth is a fantastic leader. My respect for her is total and unconditional, and she is a very special person with very special gifts and talents. Thank you for your magnificent service to our country.”
Feature image Credit:Press and Journal