Tory leader Goldie kisses goodbye to weekly FMQs showdown

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ANNABEL Goldie’s performances over the years at the weekly political joust that is First Minister’s Questions have been characterised by humorous and witty exchanges with her opponents – most notably with Alex Salmond.

So when the departing Tory leader stepped up for her final showdown at the Holyrood dispatch box yesterday, it was no surprise that one of Miss Goldie’s most choice words of wisdom for deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon, standing in for Mr Salmond who was overseas, was “do not give up hope, dear”.

Despite Miss Goldie saying she was not ready for a love-in with her opponents, Ms Sturgeon was quick to wave an emotional goodbye to her opponent, telling her that the Holyrood chamber would “wish her well in the future”.

It’s fair to say that there’s not usually much love around during the often bear-pit style atmosphere of First Minister’s questions, but the hugs and kisses for Miss Goldie at Holyrood yesterday were but a taste of things to come, with Prime Minister David Cameron’s message later in the day in which he described the leader of the Scottish Tories as a “no nonsense breath of fresh air in Scottish politics”.

As Miss Goldie, one of the most popular politicians at Holyrood, prepared to stand down after six years in post, there was no escaping the warmth of a fond farewell afforded her.