Boris Johnson: I have a very good relationship with Ruth Davidson

Boris Johnson has denied that his candidacy to become leader of the Conservatives is a problem for the party in Scotland, insisting that his relationship with Ruth Davidson was "very good".
Boris Johnson insisted his candidacy for Tory leadership had support in ScotlandBoris Johnson insisted his candidacy for Tory leadership had support in Scotland
Boris Johnson insisted his candidacy for Tory leadership had support in Scotland

Recent polling has suggested that if the former foreign secretary was to succeed Theresa May as prime minister it could boost support for Scottish independence, while a majority of Tory MSPs at Holyrood have backed rival candidate Jeremy Hunt in the leadership race.

But Mr Johnson insisted that he had "strong support" from MPs north of the Border and claimed Brexit, if delivered, would strengthen support for the Union.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Scottish party leader Ruth Davidson has backed three candidates in the party leadership race so far - none of them Mr Johnson - and this week backed Mr Hunt's campaign. She has however said she would campaign for the frontrunner if he was to become prime minister.

It was this week revealed that Mr Johnson's campaign in Scotland was being led by controversial Aberdeen MP Ross Thomson, one of his strongest supporters.

Asked in an interview with Conservative Home if his candidacy was a problem for Scots Tories, Mr Johnson replied: “Well I’m delighted to have strong support from excellent Scottish MPs. I have a very good relationship with Ruth Davidson indeed.

Read More
SNP step up attacks on "liar" Boris Johnson

He continued: "We have several Scottish colleagues now who are openly backing me. I’m very proud of that.

“And I would just make one point about the Union. I think the Union will be greatly strengthened by getting Brexit done in a sensible way.

“And if I were thinking in Scotland about who I want to govern the country, my country, Scotland, and if I were looking at the Government of the United Kingdom, and it totally failed to deliver on this essential request from the British people, and it couldn’t even do that, I would think well why am I being governed from London.

“On the other hand, once we get Brexit done, there’ll be lots of things we can do to cement and strengthen the Union, to champion the Union between England and Scotland, and the Union between Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union with Wales.

“There are all sorts of ways in which we can show the value of the awesome foursome and take it forward.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“And interestingly, there are things we will have to do legally to underpin the internal market of the UK as we come out of the EU.

“And final point, do you really think that the Scots Nats, once we leave, are going to have a song to sing about leaving the UK and joining the EU?

“And joining the euro, joining the Schengen area, submitting Scotland to EU rules, losing control of fish in Scotland to the EU? Really? Absolutely not.

“This thing, far from damaging the Union, Brexit is going to make life very, very difficult for the SNP indeed. I think it will take away a lot of their arguments, and it will greatly cement and strengthen the Union.”

SNP MSP Tom Arthur commented: “This is the ultimate embarrassment for Ruth Davidson - no matter how hard she tries to distance herself from Boris Johnson, she cannot and will not be able to shake off the fact he is soon likely to be her boss.”