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Wed Aug 28, 2019, 05:00 PM

Ruth Davidson 'to quit as Scottish Conservative leader'

Party sources confirmed Ms Davidson was considering her position and was expected to make a statement tomorrow.


The news broke hours after Boris Johnson moved to suspend parliament for five weeks in order to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Davidson has never hidden her disdain for Mr Johnson, or her opposition to no-deal.

However sources said her decision was not in response to the Prime Ministerís increasingly hardline on Brexit, but based on lifestyle and family commitments.


Small beans compared to the rest of today's news maybe, this will have been utterly predictable (despite the disclaimer above) if it pans out tomorrow. Davidson's never overtaxed herself as an MSP (as her constituents can vouch), so claims of "lifestyle and family commitments" conflicting with her cosy job in the family-friendly parliament at Holyrood just aren't credible.

Davidson, for far too long given an ultra-easy ride by the media, was once (seriously over-)hyped as a potential UK Tory leader, the public and electoral face of a Tory Party in Scotland that hardly dare display the brand "Conservative Party" on its literature and publicity:

She's been on the skids ever since May formed her alliance with the DUP, when their attitudes toward LGBT issues put her, as the openly gay, "modernizing" face of the Scottish Tories, in a very awkward position.

When the Tories won an unexpected 13 MPs in the last election, Davidson boasted that "her" MPs would take Scotland's case (in the very restrictive terms the Scottish Tories think fitting for us) to Westminster more effectively than the other parties could. The reality has been that "her" MPs have proven far more loyal to May, and so far Johnson, than to her (or indeed, Scotland), and she became more and more irrelevant even before, and especially after, she took maternity leave over the last year.

She was an ardent Remainer during the Brexit referendum, had a very awkward time squaring that stance with the evolving UK Tory line, backed a series of losers in the Tory leadership contest, and had to eat a hearty helping of crow when Johnson was elected.

In the UK context, if a series of polls are to believed, even before today's events and with her still at the helm, the Tories looked likely to lose all 13 of their Scottish MPs at the next general election. After today, and without her as figurehead, that looks like more than a fair bet, chipping away at a possible Tory majority at Westminster. We'll have to wait and see whether she remains in politics at all (we don't know yet whether she just intends to stand down as leader or whether she'll also quit as an MSP), but the No campaign in a future Scottish independence referendum would sorely miss her, though her claims and arguments from campaigns past would be very difficult to defend given how events have turned out and are turning out still.

Who's likely to succeed her as leader of the Scottish Tory branch office is anybody's guess at the moment, and we can but hope for a protracted, ugly contest, but none of the likely contenders (most probably from among the ranks of Tory MSPs) are charismatic, competent nor at all appealing.

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Reply Ruth Davidson 'to quit as Scottish Conservative leader' (Original post)
Denzil_DC Aug 2019 OP
Soph0571 Aug 2019 #1
Denzil_DC Aug 2019 #2
Denzil_DC Aug 2019 #3
T_i_B Aug 2019 #4

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2019, 05:19 PM

1. This is a sad day

She is good people for a Tory. The break up of the union is one step closer with this.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2019, 06:07 PM

2. A further burst of irony (and exquisite timing):

There's a by-election in Shetland tomorrow to replace the retiring Lib Dem MSP.

This is the leaflet the Tories have been distributing there:

So ...

Shetland voted 56.5% Remain.

Davidson's opposition to Brexit, particularly a no deal Brexit, is well known.

Davidson may resign on the day of the election.

Not that the Tories have a chance in hell anyway.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Aug 29, 2019, 08:46 AM

3. Davidson's resignation letter:

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2019, 02:07 AM

4. With the way the Tories are at present

Davidson's replacement is likely to be much, much worse.

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