Politics

Ruth Davidson quits as Scottish Tory leader over Boris’ Brexit plans and juggling motherhood


SCOTS Tory boss Ruth Davidson has quit today over Boris’ Brexit plans and struggling to juggle politics with being a new mum.

As The Scottish Sun revealed last night, she made a statement this morning confirming she will stand down – but will stay as an MSP until 2021.

 Ruth Davidson has written to tender her resignation

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Ruth Davidson has written to tender her resignationCredit: PA:Press Association

She said this morning: “It has been the privilege of my life to serve as @ScotTories leader. This morning I wrote to the Scottish party chairman to tender my resignation.”

In her letter she said how she had to “make a different choice” and put her son Finn first now.

She said the thought of fighting another election and spending hundreds of hours away from her home and family “now fills me with dread. That is no way to lead”.

Ms Davidson, who has led the party in Scotland for eight years, said that she’d spent that time putting her party and work first always.

“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 has always come first, often at the expense of commitments to loved ones.

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

But she paid tribute to party bosses who made her return to work as “smooth as I could have hoped”, meaning she was able to stay in her role.

On Brexit she said she had tried to respect the referendum result while “seeking to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks for Scottish businesses and sectors”.

However, she didn’t mention tensions with Boris Johnson in her resignation letter.

Senior Tories revealed how Ms Davidson, who had her first child Finn with partner Jen last year, is said to be under huge pressure both at work and at home.

And since Boris came into No10 she was said to have been more and more at odds with him over his Brexit plans.

Ms Davidson has long been a passionate Remainer and doesn’t support a No Deal Brexit.

Her departure will be a huge loss for the Tories, who have seen huge success in Scotland under her leadership.

Indeed, without her in the 2017 General Election where the Tories picked up several seats north of the border, it’s unlikely Theresa May would have had enough support to even govern.

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Boris is less popular in Scotland than he is elsewhere in the country, and the party will now face a huge headache of who will replace her.

A senior Tory source said last night: “Ruth’s been talking to senior party figures in the Conservatives for the last few weeks, both in Scotland and down south.

“She has been under huge pressure as a new mum.

“Nobody really fully understands how your life is going to change as a parent until it happens.

“Ruth is no different in this respect.

“She’s tried to juggle motherhood with being the very high-profile leader of the opposition in Scotland, and it’s taken its toll.

“All of this has been made more difficult with the current political climate, where she’s found herself at increasing odds with the new leadership in London.

“The events unfolding at Westminster are not helped.”

Ms Davidson, 40, had been leader of the Scottish Conservatives since November 2011.

Another Tory source said: “There are two reasons she has been considering going – family and Boris.

“Ruth and Jen is under huge strain.

“And Ruth is in a real hole with Boris – she can’t defend him, it’s toxic and goes against so much of what she’s fought for.”

 Boris and Ruth Davidson are said to be at odds over Brexit

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Boris and Ruth Davidson are said to be at odds over Brexit

At the 2016 Holyrood election, the Scottish Tories doubled their MSP seats to 31, replacing Labour as the main opposition to the SNP.

And at the 2017 General Election, Tory MPs in Scotland rose from one to 13.

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And their vote share was 28.6 per cent – the best performance since 1983.

Ms Davidson had a close working relationship with David Cameron, and was closely consulted by Theresa May.

However, she backed Mr Johnson’s rival Jeremy Hunt in this year’s Tory leadership race.

And after Mr Johnson won, she gave his appointment a lukewarm response, saying she would “judge his premiership by his actions in office”.

 Ruth Davidson with her partner Jen Wilson after she gave birth last year

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Ruth Davidson with her partner Jen Wilson after she gave birth last year
 The couple also have a pet pooch

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The couple also have a pet pooch
Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson says she’s never tried cocaine as it would ‘make her too CHATTY’


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