Newcomer Ruth Davidson wins Scottish Tory leadership race

 


Scottish Conservatives have elected newcomer Ruth Davidson as their new leader.

The 32-year-old only entered the Scottish Parliament in May as a regional MSP for Glasgow.

Ms Davidson replaces Annabel Goldie, who announced her intention to step down days after losing two seats in the Scottish election.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed his party's new leader in Scotland.

He said: "I am delighted to congratulate Ruth on winning this leadership election and look forward to working with her to strengthen the Union and build a better future for Scotland."

Ms Davidson is the first overall leader of the party in Scotland, rather than just the Holyrood group. She won the election in three rounds, leading at each stage.

Following the declaration at a hotel in Edinburgh today, she said: "With the radical, generational change that I represent, this is a unique opportunity for us to rebuild the party and to once again become a powerful, meaningful and relevant force in Scottish politics and in Scottish life.

"Our loyal and hard-working members in the associations and constituencies are the lifeblood of our party. But there has been a failure to fully involve them both in policy development and party management and strategy. That will now change."

She continued: "The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is very much alive and kicking. That has been very clear in the exhilarating debate we have had during this campaign.

"It is now up to all of us to build on that momentum and drive the party forward to a new and exciting age of success."

Turning to the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence, she said: "We in the Scottish Conservatives have a duty as well as an opportunity to be the party that stands up for Scotland as a vital component of the Union.

"We must not allow the SNP to tear up that right. Scotland is not being served if politicians behave like rabbits caught in the headlights of Salmond's separatist steamroller. We must have the courage and conviction to stop him in his tracks by always presenting and promoting the positive case for the Union.

"Of course, a union that does not adapt and evolve will inevitably become stale, so it is essential that we adjust, refresh and revitalise the partnership. But strong, enduring marriages do not end in divorce, they continue to provide safety, security and mutual benefit and respect. That will always be worth fighting for.

"This is a time of generational change for the Scottish Conservatives, a party for all, regardless of age and of background. I want everyone to feel that they have a place, a role and a voice that can and should be heard. I want to engage the whole party from the grassroots up and to extend that conversation with the electorate at large.

"The hard work starts here. Today is the first day of a new and bright future of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party."

Ms Davidson, a former BBC journalist, was inspired to enter frontline politics by David Cameron's call for fresh faces in the wake of the MPs expenses scandal.

She fought the Glasgow North East by-election in 2009 - a seat the party was never likely to win - and worked for Miss Goldie before gaining a seat in Holyrood as the only Tory MSP in the Glasgow region.

Ms Davidson, who is openly gay, is a member of the Church of Scotland and counts kickboxing among her hobbies.

Ms Davidson was challenged for the position by Murdo Fraser, Jackson Carlaw and Margaret Mitchell.

Mr Fraser ran on a pledge to scrap the "tainted" Conservative brand and start a new centre-right party - a move that split senior figures and prompted Ms Davidson to announced she would run against him.

Following the result, Mr Fraser said: "Clearly I'm disappointed that I was not able to persuade more of our members that my vision for the future is the correct one.

"But I congratulate Ruth Davidson on her victory, and she will have my full support, as she tries to take the party forward.

"I think the bold and radical proposal that I had - to create a new centre-right party for Scotland, to replace the Conservatives - was a leap too far for the majority of our members.

"A sizeable minority, 45%, voted for my proposal but it was not enough."

He secured 2,096 first preference votes against Ms Davidson's 2,278.

David Mundell, the only Tory MP in Scotland, supported Ms Davidson's bid and said: "Ruth embodies the radical, generational change that the party needs to rebuild and reclaim its place at the heart of Scottish politics and Scottish life.

"I look forward to working closely with her and I am certain she will be a first-class leader for the whole party."

Ms Mitchell, a late entry to the race, was knocked out with 472 votes in the first round.

Mr Carlaw, who was taken to hospital with appendicitis during the campaign, was considered a strong challenger for the top job but finished third with 830 first-choice votes.

There were 5,676 votes cast in a turnout of 63.4%.

PA

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Sport
Peter Moores was criticised for failing to handle top players when he last led the England team
sportFive years after being sacked from the job, Peter Moores to be named a cricket coach
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit