Ruth Davidson to take up role in House of Lords after the summer

Ruth Davidson has praised her replacement as Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, and revealed she will take up her position in the House of Lords after the summer.

The former Tory MSP, who stood down at the last election, said she put off heading to the Lords to campaign in the Holyrood election on behalf of her party, and to finish making a documentary, Football’s Gambling Addiction, due to be screened on Channel 4 on Monday.

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She said Ross had run a “disciplined and tightly focused” campaign, and returning the same number of MSPs to the Scottish Parliament but with an extra 100,000 votes, was a “bigger achievement” than hers at the 2016 election when the Conservatives became the second largest party.

Scottish Conservative party leader Douglas Ross and former Leader Ruth Davidson. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

"It was the oddest election for me, because I was kind of half involved. But I wasn't on the daily phone calls, wasn't part of strategising. I was just campaigning and doing some photo ops and doing some fundraising and letters.

"But it was a really good result. I think people might look at that and see Douglas got exactly the same number of MSPs as I got last time. So he kind of didn't drop the ball. But actually, I think what he did was a much bigger achievement.

"I did not have Boris or Brexit [in 2016]. I'd also been in post for four years, had been able to get myself established, going head to head in the parliament every Thursday [with Nicola Sturgeon] so people got to know me in a way they didn't get to know Douglas.

"I thought he ran an astonishing campaign. I thought it was so disciplined, very tightly focused. I thought by some order of magnitude he delivered. Labour went backwards, the LibDems went backwards – had we gone backwards. everything that's happening in Scotland right now would be different. He had such a responsibility on his shoulders for his first campaign. I thought he did extraordinarily well.”

Ms Davidson said she would like to do more broadcast work if possible, but had to wait and see how being in the House of Lords would affect that.

“They’ve been really understanding because I said I couldn’t do anything till after the election. So I’ve been back in touch and it's a bit of a process which has started, but it generally takes a few months.

"And you can only join when it's sitting so it might be after the summer recess."

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