Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson confirms she is quitting to spend more time with her family

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Ruth Davidson has officially announced her resignation as leader of the Scottish Tories saying the post had been the “privilege of my life”.

The new mum tweeted her resignation letter shortly before a speech where she confirmed the news - one day after Boris Johnson announced he was suspending Parliament in September.

In her resignation letter, Ms Davidson said she had taken the decision as she faced fighting two elections in the next two years and did not want to be away from her young family.

She said: "It has been the privilege of my life to serve as the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has announced her resignation (PA)

"The almost eight years I've spent at the helm have coincided with one of the most remarkable and important periods of recent Scottish political history."

In her letter, Ms Davidson, who has been credited for the upsurge in Tory fortunes in Scotland, briefly mentions that she has “never hidden her conflict... over Brexit”.

However, she stopped short of specifically mentioning Mr Johnson’s stance on a no-deal scenario and his decision to suspend Parliament.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:

Climate change activists are planning to disrupt Heathrow with drones

Labour MP says the monarchy could be abolished

Newspapers react to Prime Minister's decision to suspend Parliament

She wrote: "Inevitably, much has changed over the years of my leadership - both personally and in the wider political context.

“While I have not hidden the conflict I have felt over Brexit, I have attempted to chart a course for our party which recognises and respects the referendum result, while seeking to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks for key Scottish businesses and sectors.”

Going into more detail about her decision to quit, Ms Davidson went on: "However, as I look to the future, I see the Scottish Election due in 2021 and a credible threat from our opponents to force a general election before then.

Ms Davidson said she wants to spend more time with her partner Jen Wilson and their new baby (PA)
Ms Davidson said the birth of her son has made her put family before party (PA)

“Having led our party through seven national elections and two referenda, I know the efforts, hours and travel required to fight such campaigns successfully.

"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. That is no way to lead."

At a speech confirming her resignation, Ms Davidson refused to attack the PM, instead focusing on MPs who had not voted for a Brexit deal.

The mum-of-one has been credited for an upsurge in Tory fortunes in Scotland (PA)

She said: "You had three golden opportunities to support a deal, a goal gaping in front of them. For all the elaborate plans the simplest way to avoid No Deal is to vote for a deal.

"For God's Sake do it."

She also said she had had a private meeting with Mr Johnson, who assured her he was still doing everything to seek a Brexit deal.

Reacting to the news, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she “wished Ruth well for the future”.

Former PM Theresa May paid tribute to Ms Davidson on Twitter, writing: 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.”

Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, tweeted: "It's no wonder Ruth Davidson feels she must resign.

"She is one of many Conservatives examining their consciences at this time of crisis. The people's representatives from all parties must unite to oppose the PM's anti-democratic parliament shutdown and disastrous No Deal Brexit."

New Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has thanked Ms Davidson for her "outstanding" work as leader of the Tories in Scotland.

Mr Jack, one of 13 Scottish Conservative MPs elected in 2017, said her "leadership has been inspirational and transformational".

He added: "She has inspired a new generation of Scottish Conservative politicians, activists and supporters - and in turn that has transformed our party's fortunes.

"In short, she has made the Scottish Conservatives the only credible challenger to the SNP in Scotland."

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---