Tory leadership contest confirmed after Michelle Ballantyne gets 100 nominations needed

Michelle Ballantyne has secured 100 nominations needed
Michelle Ballantyne has secured 100 nominations needed
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A contest to elect the next Conservative leader in Scotland will take place, it has been confirmed, after underdog candidate Michelle Ballantyne met the nominations threshold.

Ms Ballantyne secured over 100 nominations to trigger a contest. She will now face Jackson Carlaw, who has been interim leader since Ruth Davidson stepped down in June, in a series of hustings.

Party members will then take part in a secret ballot, with the results being announced on February 14th.

“With over 100 nominations it’s clear that the membership want a contest and want to be able to choose the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives," Ms Thomson said.

“I’ve been a nurse in our NHS, led charities which helped vulnerable children and ran a successful business. I have the real world experience needed to really understand what working people want from their public services.

“Over the coming weeks, I look forward to setting out my vision for invigorating and aspirational policies to help improve the lives of working people across Scotland.”

The South of Scotland MSPs describes herself as "businesswoman, charity worker, working mother, former nurse and NHS manager," which helps her to understand the "day-to-day challenges" facing working people across Scotland

She has pledged to put forward a "blue-collar agenda" informed by her years on the front-line of the public sector. The former Selkirk councillor will also be putting forward bold plans to empower Scottish Conservative members and councillors.