‘I’m proud of BHS’ - Tory leader

Ruth Davidson
Ruth Davidson

Politics turned personal on Thursday when Scotland’s party leaders were grilled on whether or not they had ever used drugs.

At the end of a long, gruelling debate, hosted by Glasgow University Political Society, the Scottish Conservative leader, who hails from Lundin Links, was asked if she had ever tried cannabis.

“I went to Buckhaven High School. What do you think?” was the reply.

The flippant remark back-fired locally with a good number of residents taking to social media, claiming Ms Davidson had sullied the name of the school that had educated her.

The politician stressed that had never been her intention and she was proud of her continuing connection with the secondary.

There was little concern that Ms Davidson, along with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Lib-Dem leader Willie Rennie had admitted trying cannabis. Instead, comments focused on the BHS reference.

“Disgraceful Ruth, you should hang your head in shame,” said Melanie Malcolm on Facebook.

“Ridiculous comment by Ruth. Bad judgement here,” added Victoria Perkins.

“As a former BHS pupil I’m appalled,” said Lynne Graham.

Stewart Kirkwood saw the issue differently, stating: “She answered a question truthfully and, for that, is vilified by a bunch of people who quite frankly will jump on anything as they don’t like her politics.”

Bruce Mitchell added: “Ridiculous stuff! Schools mirror society. Of course there is drug taking at BHS, as there is in every secondary school, public or private in the UK. Schools just can’t admit it. This is silly political nonsense.”

Speaking to the Mail later, Ms Davidson was keen to set the record straight on her feelings towards her former school.

“Buckhaven High School in the early ‘90s was a community where you saw all sides of life,” she said.

“It had an ethos where, despite people’s backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, or because of them, people respected each other and helped each other.

“What people did or were back then is less important than how the experiences shaped them into the positive forces we all can be now.

“We learn from our mistakes, and if we’ve made mistakes, there is pride in learning from them and moving forward and helping others either avoid them, or deal with them.

“ I’m proud of Buckhaven High School – I’ve been back many times since – and privileged to have shared classes with the people who showed me a much bigger picture.”