Scots Tory leadership candidate in hospital

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Scottish Conservative leadership contender Jackson Carlaw has been taken to hospital after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

Mr Carlaw was taken in overnight and will be kept in until he has had surgery.

A statement from his campaign team said he is expected to make a “full and speedy recovery”.

However, he has been forced to pull out of a hustings event in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, due to be held today.

He has sent apologies to members who are attending and to the other candidates.

Mr Carlaw’s office said he hoped to resume a full campaign and parliamentary schedule soon and, in the meantime, would continue to direct his parliamentary office. His constituents could be “assured of his continued attention throughout this period”, the statement said.

Ruth Davidson, one of his opponents for the Scottish Conservative leadership, sent her best wishes.

She said: “I was very sorry to hear that Jackson had been taken ill and admitted to hospital. I wish him a full and speedy recovery and hope that he is back on his feet as soon as possible.”

Mr Carlaw is up against Murdo Fraser, Ms Davidson and Margaret Mitchell in the race to take over from outgoing leader, Annabel Goldie.

He has campaigned as the man best placed to reconnect the party with its grassroots, while also warning against Mr Fraser’s bid to give the party a new identity.

Mr Carlaw warned that even if the party went by a new identity, it would still be referred to by its current name by political opponents and voters.

“They’ll just say: ‘We will still call you the Scots Tories’, with a big expletive before that,” he added.