Ruth Davidson attends Theresa May cabinet meeting as PM seeks to woo Scottish Tory leader

Ms Davidson emerges as key figure in the party following Conservative success in Scotland

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Monday 12 June 2017 13:51 BST
Ruth Davidson arrives for cabinet meeting

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is meeting Theresa May in Downing Street on Monday, after demanding that the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan is re-opened.

Ms Davidson also attended a meeting of top cabinet ministers, since emerging from last week’s election as one of the most powerful figures in the party.

The Scottish leader went into the 'political cabinet' meeting having also spoken openly of her concerns at Ms May’s attempts to win a deal with the DUP, needed to secure the Prime Minister a Commons majority.

Ms Davidson sought to play down her appearance today, taking to Twitter to point out that she has an open invitation to attend political cabinet meetings in Westminster and has done in the past.

But the Scottish leader's significance to the party's Brexit plan and other issues, is underlined by her having led the party north of the border to win 12 extra seats that are critical to Ms May's ability to pass laws.

Amid the fallout of last week's election campaign, she gave interviews saying she wanted a consensus on a Brexit deal that puts economic advancement and jobs at its heart, something seen as a different path to Ms May's focus on immigration.

Asked whether the Government would be changing course, Ms May's spokesman said on Monday: "We are going to deliver the wishes of the British people and that was to retake control of our borders and our laws."

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But Ms Davidson is part of a powerful new soft-Brexit axis at the top of the Tory party, along with Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is said to have demanded a 'jobs first' approach as a condition of backing Ms May's leadership.

Damian Green, who backed remain in last year's referendum, has also been appointed First Secretary of State, a title which effectively makes him Ms May's deputy.

Ms Davidson is also among Tories raising concerns about Ms May's potential partner, the DUP, and the party's record on gay rights.

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She said after the election: "Well look I have friends in politics across many parties, but what I spoke to the Prime Minister about yesterday was the need for a categoric assurance that talking with the DUP would not result in any rollback of any LBGT rights in the rest of the UK.

"Because as the Conservative Party, we are the party of equal marriage, we introduced it to the House of Commons.

"And also we would use our influence to try and advance LGBT rights in Northern Ireland and they are the assurances that I got."

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