Politics

Ruth Davidson quits as Scottish Tory leader citing family reasons

Davidson told us last year that her family comes above personal ambition: “I don’t want to go off and work the majority of the week 500 miles away.”

Ruth Davidson has resigned from her role as Scottish Conservative leader to spend more time with her family – just as she told The Big Issue last year.

The 40-year-old and ardent Remain supporter announced her decision just one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed forward plans to prorogue parliament.

That move attracted criticism that it would cut into time MPs need to discuss legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

But Davidson, who has been the leader of the party since November 2011, made no mention of that in her resignation letter to the party chairman Robert Forman MBE.

She said: “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. 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 home and family now fills me with dread. That is no way to lead.”

In a revealing Letter To My Younger Self, she told of the push and pull of balancing her personal life with partner Jen Wilson and son Finn, who was born last year, with her role in the political hotseat.

She told The Big Issue just before giving birth to Finn last year: “I’m ambitious for Scotland, I’m ambitious to be the First Minister of Scotland. I love my job. Leading the party in Scotland has been the greatest privilege of my life, and continues to be.

“But I know there’s more to life than just personal ambition. I bought my first house last year, here in Edinburgh. I got engaged a couple of years ago. I’m about to have my first child. My family matters to me. It’s really important to me.

“I don’t want to go off and work for the vast majority of the week 500 miles away. I don’t want to be far away from my loved ones off in London. That’s not of interest to me. For a long time people haven’t believed me when I said that but it’s absolutely true.

Read more from Ruth Davidson’s Letter To My Younger Self here.

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