Profile: Murdo Fraser, politician

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Who's this chap?

This is Murdo Fraser, the front-runner for Conservative leadership in Scotland, who reckons the party is in the midst of an identity crisis. So much so, he wants to scrap the Scottish Conservative Party, and create an entirely new party based on "a distinct Scottish identity".

That's no easy task...

Well the Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP announced yesterday that he can raise enough money to back the launch of a new party. He's sick of being associated with the Tory party in Westminster, and thinks that enough people will help fund the venture – and, of course, vote for it. The MSP – who was born and raised in Inverness, and went to Aberdeen University – feels Scottish voters don't want a Tory party linked to Cameron and his ilk. For too long, he says, the Tories have suffered from the legacy of Thatcher.

How's it going so far?

Over the summer Fraser's been talking to current and former donors, and thinks people share a sense of disillusionment over the way their money has been spent in the past. He think's there's an appetite for a new centre-right force in Scotland, especially in the business community.

So what's the reaction in Scotland?

There's been a mixed response. Airport car-park magnate John McGlynn is apparently enthusiastic, with other business leaders following suit in laying on the praise. Unfortunately for Fraser, he's got the thumbs down from Sir Jack Harvie, the transport tycoon and member of Conservative business group Focus on Scotland, who has also been the party's biggest donor in the past.

What's Cameron got to say about all this?

Predictably, the PM has remained silent about the whole thing.