Following the Prime Minister’s controversial move to prorogue Parliament, Ruth Davidson has resigned from her role as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Davidson, who became a mother in October, plans to dedicate more time to her family. A prominent campaigner during the EU Referendum, she has also cited her ‘conflict‘ concerning Brexit as a reason for her resignation. Despite this, Davidson is in favour of proroguing Parliament, as long as a deal is reached with the EU.
— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) August 29, 2019
Davidson successfully detoxified the Scottish Tories, focusing upon winning over voters opposed to Scottish independence. Thirteen Scottish Conservative MPs were returned to Westminster in 2017, the greatest representation of the party since 1983 and up from just one MP in 2015. Furthermore, Scottish Labour, which had dominated Westminster elections prior to the surge of the SNP in 2015, was pushed into third place. These results contrasted with the dire performance of the Tories across the British Isles when Theresa May’s snap election gamble backfired. However, following Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister, for the first time in two years, a majority of Scots backed independence in a poll. Davidson’s departure has driven debate amongst political commentators as to whether Scotland is now more likely to gain independence from the UK and whether the Tories’ electoral success north of the border will continue.
In response to recent calls from opposition MPs for a Government of National Unity to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU, Davidson has commented that: ‘The simplest way to avoid no deal is to vote for a deal’. Referring to former Prime Minister May’s numerous failed attempts to persuade Parliament, Davidson criticised MPs by stating that: ‘You’ve had three opportunities, you blew every one of them. Don’t blow a fourth.’ Tellingly Davidson remained loyal to May until the end of her premiership, proceeding to back both Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt in the Conservative leadership elections this summer. In Theresa May’s first Tweet since she escaped Downing Street, she has expressed her gratitude for Davidson’s work as Leader of the Scottish Conservatives over the past 8 years:
Sorry to see @RuthDavidsonMSP step down as Leader of @ScotTories. Thank you for all you've done for our party and our Union over the last 8 years, and enjoy your well-deserved family time with Jen and Finn.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) August 29, 2019