Davidson quits as Tory leader, citing Brexit, son

Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson quit as leader of the UK Conservative Party in Scotland on Thursday, claiming she felt conflicted over Brexit and that she wanted to put her family first.

Davidson, 40, said it had been the “privilege of her life” to serve as leader of the Scottish Tories.

Davidson said it had been no secret that she had felt conflicted over the result of the Brexit referendum.

She voted to remain in the EU, as did a large majority of Scottish voters. 

She said she no longer had the appetite to fight campaigns. 

Davidson, who had a son last year, added: “The threat of spending hundreds of hours away from my home and family now fills me with dread.”

Davidson told reporters: “I believe two referenda have split Scotland and indeed opinion in the UK, and I am convinced that referenda should be used to affirm public opinion but not as a way for political leaders to fail to lead.

“Respect is what is missing from our debates, and without respect you cannot have understanding and you cannot unite, which is what we in Scotland and in the UK need to do.”

Davidson said she intended to continue to represent Edinburgh Central in the Scottish Parliament until elections in 2021.