Ruth Davidson quits as Tory leader, putting family before politics

Ruth Davidson after speaking at The Hub in Edinburgh 25th January 2012.
Ruth Davidson after speaking at The Hub in Edinburgh 25th January 2012.

Ruth Davidson has quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

The Fife politician – a former reporter with the Glenrothes Gazette – confirmed she was standing down in a statement this morning.

The former Buckhaven High school pupil transformed the party north of the border.

This morning she confirmed she was resigning as leader after eight years at the helm, but will continue as an MSP until 2021.

Ms Davidson said the birth of her son had change her priorities.

“The party and my work has always come first –the arrival of my son means I now make a different choice,” she said.

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Her letter spoke of her pride in leading her party, but made no reference to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On his decision to suspend Parliament and push for a potential no-deal departure from Europe, she said: “While I have not hidden the conflict I have fewlt 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 key Scottish businesses and sectors.”

She also admitted the prospect of leading her party through a possible General election and the Scottish parliamentary election in 2021 filled her with “dread.”

“I know the effort, hours and travel required to fight such campaigns successfully,” she said.

“I have to be honest that where the idea of getting on the road to fight two elections in 20 months would once have fired me up, the threat of spending hundreds of hours away from my home and family now fills me with dread. That is no way to lead.

“I fear that having tried to be a good leader over the years I have proved a poor daughter, sister, partner and friend. The party and my work have always come first often at the expense of commitments to loved ones.

“The arrival of my son means I mow make a different choice.”