Borders MP John Lamont has told of his sadness over Ruth Davidson’s decision to stand down as leader of the Scottish Conservative party.
Ms Davidson, MSP for Edinburgh Central, today announced that she is quitting as leader of Scotland’s Tories after almost eight years so she can spend more time with her family.
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Mr Lamont, campaign manager for the 40-year-old during her 2011 leadership bid, said: “Ruth has been a friend and a colleague of mine for many years, and, on a personal level, I am saddened by this news.
“Ruth’s contribution to Scottish politics over the past few years cannot be overstated.
“She has been a force of nature during the past eight years and has been responsible for bringing the Scottish Conservatives to become the only serious challenger to the SNP.
“Like all Scottish Conservative politicians in the UK, I owe much to Ruth and her straight-talking and moderate approach.
“Ruth leaves the Scottish Conservatives as the only party completely opposed to Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to break up Britain.
“I am sure that, by coming together, we can build on that success and offer Scotland a real and positive alternative to the SNP.
“Unusually in political careers, Ruth is standing down as one of the most popular politicians in the country.
“She will leave behind a formidable legacy, but I have no doubt that her contribution to public life has not ended.
“This is a very personal decision for Ruth, and I completely respect the fact that she is prioritising her family.
“However, we all should reflect on the fact that for a new mother, high-profile politics in the UK has become a near impossible task.
“Something needs to change to ensure that people from all walks of life, at all stages in their lives, are able to serve their country at the highest level.”
Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton, a fellow Tory, added: “I am saddened at Ruth’s decision to stand down as party leader. Her decision to stand down is not one she took lightly.
“Ruth Davidson’s positivity and tenacity have been the driving force behind the enormous change that has led to the Scottish Conservatives becoming the main opposition to the SNP in Scotland, an achievement we can all be immensely proud of.
“Her hard work and determination through often exceptionally difficult political times are all qualities which politicians admire and aspire to possess.
“She always stood up to Nicola Sturgeon and made the case for why being part of our United Kingdom always trumps separation and division.”