Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson confirms she does not want to stand for Edinburgh seat again

Ruth Davidson has confirmed that she does not believe she will stand in an election again.

By Iain Pope
Sunday, 6th October 2019, 3:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th October 2019, 6:33 pm
Birth: Ruth Davidson and her partner Jen Wilson celebrate the birth of their son Finn
Birth: Ruth Davidson and her partner Jen Wilson celebrate the birth of their son Finn

But the former Scottish Conservative leader and sitting Edinburgh Central MSP also claimed she may be open to “No” role in a second independence referendum.

Speaking at the Wigtown Book Festival, she also said she believed that the public would soon demand higher standards of public debate.

In her recent resignation as Tory leader in Scotland she confirmed she would see out her term as Edinburgh Central MSP until the next Scottish election.

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Beaming: Ruth Davidson took the Edinburgh Central seat at the 2016 Scottish election

She said: “It’s a fairly open secret that I think I’m going to see out my term.

“I’m giving myself the option to change my mind but I don’t think that I will stand again.”

On a second independence referendum, she added: “Look, I hope there won’t be a next time.

“I will do what I can to stop that happening, but if it is happening there is absolutely no way that I am going to sit it out.

“This is my country, it’s what I’ve fought for, it’s what I believe in.

“And whether anyone wants me to hold a position or whether they want me to go round, knock doors and hand out leaflets, I’m happy doing both.”

Ms Davidson went on to tell journalist Sarah Smith, who was chairing the event, that she left her leadership job because she was “hopelessly conflicted by Brexit” and also wanted to spend more time being a mother.

OPINION: Ruth Davidson is the only politician whose brilliance scared me – Alex Cole-Hamilton MSPThe former broadcaster announced her decision to quit as party leader in August, citing both “professional and personal” changes as reasons for her decision to step down.

She clashed with Boris Johnson during the Brexit referendum, and her resignation came just a day after the Prime Minister announced he was to temporarily suspend Parliament in the run-up to the UK’s EU departure date of October 31.

But the birth of her son Finn with partner Jen Wilson was also known to have played a large part in her decision to step away from day-to-day frontline politics.

She said at the time of her resignation: “I have to be honest that where the idea of getting on the road to fight two elections in 20 months would once have fired me up, the threat of spending hundreds of hours away from my home and family now fills me with dread.”

And she added: “I fear that having tried to be a good leader over the years, I have proved a poor daughter, sister, partner and friend.”

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Ms Davidson also saw the party increase its MPs from one to 13 at the general election the following year.

The marginal seat is thought to be a target for several high profile Nationalists including Angus Robertson, Joanna Cherry and MEP Alyn Smyth.

Former SNP group leader at Westminster, Mr Robertson is the only SNP big name to have confirmed he is considering seeking a nomination for the seat.

Last night he fuelled speculation he is about to throw his hat in the ring publicly when he reacted to the news on Twitter, saying: “Good opportunity for Edinburgh Central to have an MSP that will stand up for Scottish democracy and place in Europe, oppose Boris Johnson and damaging Tory policies and proactively represent the constituency.”