Ruth Davidson: We can burst 'Corbyn bubble' like we did with SNP

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson speaking in Manchester
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson speaking in Manchester
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Ruth Davidson has called on her party to step up efforts to burst the "Corbyn bubble", claiming Labour were as vulnerable to a change in fortunes as the SNP were in this year's general election.

As the Conservative Party conference got underway amid continued division amid the cabinet on Brexit policy, Ms Davidson said her colleagues should turn their fire on the Labour leader.

Earlier, Ms Davidson did not rule out seeking a Westminster parliamentary seat in future, but ruled out any bid for the UK Tory leadership in the short term, saying she didn't want to be part of the "psychodrama" engulfing her party.

In her speech to conference delegates gathered in Manchester, Ms Davidson said the Tories should take inspiration from gains in Scotland in June, where they won 12 seats for their best performance in decades.

"We did it through grafting hard between elections, by organising, by making and remaking the argument," she said. "And I have watched, with incredulity, the response to the Labour party conference this week.

She went on: "Conference I have been here before and I can tell you how this story ends.

"I have watched as Nicola Sturgeon sold out rock venues. As she released a line of signature clothing. As she sold foam fingers to the faithful so they could point at the sky as she flew in a helicopter she’d slapped her face on, over their heads.

"I’ve read the commentary that said her momentum was irresistible, that everything would be swept before her. And all the other parties in Scotland should just pack up, and go home. Well, conference, I don’t like anyone telling me where to go."

Ms Davidson added: "Just as the SNP came crashing down to earth, just as they lost 40 per cent of their seats in June, just as half a million Scots chose to take their vote away, so too can the Corbyn bubble burst, but only if we work hard to make it so."

Speaking to journalists in Manchester, the Scottish Conservative leader played down talk of a rift between her and Boris Johnson, one of the leading candidates to succeed Ms May.

Ms Davidson denied that a comment in a newspaper interview in which she said "serious" people were needed to lead Brexit talks was aimed at Mr Johnson.