Nov 9 2011 By Joe McGuire
Ruth Davidson Image 2
THE Scottish Conservatives have elected local MSP Ruth Davidson as their new leader.
The 32-year-old only entered the Scottish parliament in May as a regional MSP for Glasgow.
Davidson replaces Annabel Goldie, who said she would step down days after losing two seats in the Scottish election.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed his party’s new leader in Scotland.
He said: “I am delighted to congratulate Ruth on winning this leadership election and look forward to working with her to strengthen the Union and build a better future for Scotland.”
Davidson is the first overall leader of the party in Scotland, rather than just the Holyrood group.
She won the election in three rounds, leading at each stage.
Davidson said: “With the radical, generational change that I represent, this is a unique opportunity for us to rebuild the party and to once again become a powerful, meaningful and relevant force in Scottish politics and in Scottish life.
“Our hard-working members in the associations and constituencies are the lifeblood of our party.
“But there has been a failure to fully involve them both in policy development and party management and strategy. That will now change.”
She continued: “The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is very much alive and kicking.
“That has been very clear in the exhilarating debate we have had during this campaign.
“It is now up to all of us to build on that momentum and drive the party forward to a new and exciting age of success.”
Turning to the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence, she said: “We in the Scottish Conservatives have a duty as well as an opportunity to be the party that stands up for Scotland as a vital component of the Union.
“We must not allow the SNP to tear up that right.
“Scotland is not being served if politicians behave like rabbits caught in the headlights of Salmond’s
“We must have the courage and conviction to stop him in his tracks by always presenting and promoting the positive case for the Union.
Davidson, a former BBC journalist, was inspired to enter frontline politics by David Cameron’s call for fresh faces in the wake of th expenses scandal.
She is openly gay, a member of the Church of Scotland and counts kickboxing among her hobbies.