Carlaw quits after six months in the job

Published by Florence McCrae on August 1st 2020, 10:10am

In a move that is anything but conservative, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party Jackson Carlaw, has resigned from his post, just six months after taking up the title.

In a statement yesterday, Carlaw stated that he had come to the “painful conclusion” he was no longer the best man for the job to lead the case for Scotland remaining in the union prior to next year’s Holyrood election. He has stood down with immediate effect.

In his statement, Carlaw said that: "Nothing is more important to me than making the case for Scotland's place in the United Kingdom.

"In the last few weeks, I have reached a simple if painful conclusion - that I am not, in the present circumstances, the person best placed to lead that case over these next vital months in Scottish politics prior to the Holyrood elections."

Carlaw succeeded Ruth Davidson as leader of the party in February, having acted as deputy leader of the party for the past eight years. He had previously taken the position as party deputy while Davidson was on maternity leave, and again, following her resignation in August of last year.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said that Carlaw had been a "tremendous servant" for almost half a century. He continued: "As an activist, deputy chairman, deputy leader and leader, he has given his all and deserves our thanks for his efforts.

"It is a mark of his commitment to the cause that he chooses to stand aside at this time, and I offer my best wishes to him, Wynne and the family."

Current speculation indicates that Douglas Ross, who quit his ministerial post earlier this year protesting Dominic Cummings’ Durham debacle, is being urged to stand for the post. A senior party source has said that, "Douglas is the stand out talent in the party".

Scottish Conservatives are believed to have discussed the possibility that Davidson, who is still an MSP, could stand in for Ross at the First Minister’s Questions, until the Scottish Parliament election in May, in order to allow Ross to win a seat.


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