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Ruth Davidson's happy news

Brian Taylor
Political editor, Scotland
@tannadiceladon Twitter

image copyrightRuth Davidson

Ruth Davidson is renowned for many things. One of those is a notably wide smile. It was, I can attest, even broader than usual when she told me this afternoon that she is three months pregnant.

I asked her whether she hoped to be a role model for working mums. With a grin, she said she would rather wait to see whether she was any good at it first.

I then asked her whether she would be a role model for same-sex parents. After all, at all points in her political career, Ms Davidson has been a quiet but determined advocate of such matters.

And, certainly, when we spoke this afternoon, she voiced the hope that she and her partner Jen might help dispel any lingering "taboo or mystery" associated with the subject.

But, mostly, she preferred to focus upon the challenges and impending joys of motherhood - rather than making any form of political or social statement. She plans to be a mum, not a symbol.

Maternity leave

Her pregnancy follows successful IVF treatment. The couple have been contemplating parenthood since last summer. Both intend to continue working. They intend to marry after the baby is born: earlier plans were shelved after their wedding fund was spent on vet's fees for their dog.

More generally, Ms Davidson stressed there should be no limitation on choices for women as a consequence of maternity although she was realistic enough to recognise that there would be considerable pressures upon time.

Ruth Davidson will step aside for maternity leave in the autumn, leaving her deputy Jackson Carlaw in charge.

She told me it has been a struggle to keep the secret. In the early weeks of her pregnancy, she felt fatigued and endured occasional nausea. On one occasion, she says, she had to exit the Holyrood chamber rather hurriedly.

But she is feeling better now - and fully intends to stay in political action until her autumn leave. Beyond that, she intends to be back in spring of next year and to lead the party into the next Holyrood elections.

My congratulations.

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