Scotland politics

Ruth Davidson joins Scottish Conservative leader race

Ruth Davidson
Image caption Ms Davidson said she would defend the present Scottish Conservative party

Glasgow MSP Ruth Davidson has confirmed she will stand as a candidate in the Scottish Conservative leadership contest.

The announcement came after another contender, Murdo Fraser MSP, revealed plans to split from the UK Tories and create a separate centre-right party in Scotland if he was elected.

Ms Davidson said she wanted to defend the present Scottish party.

She is due to make an official announcement about her bid on Monday.

Mr Fraser, who is the party's current deputy leader in Scotland, said the Conservatives carry too much baggage north of the border and he believes a newly formed centre-right party would attract more voters.

The party would sit with the Tories in the Commons but have its own policies.

Ms Davidson, who was newly elected to Holyrood in May as a Glasgow list MSP, said: "I am proud to be a Scottish Conservative and Unionist.

"This is a destabilising distraction that will be welcomed by no one more than Alex Salmond.

"I've got the confidence to speak to Scots about the issues that really matter to them."

Jackson Carlaw MSP officially launched his campaign to be the new leader of the Scottish Conservative on Friday.

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