Following Ruth’s unexpected decision to step down as leader of the Scottish Tories this morning, politicians north of the border are now be on manoeuvres to replace her. As ever Guido brings you the runners and riders:
- Murdo Fraser – 3/1. Ran against Davidson back in 2011 on a platform of formally separating the Scottish Tories from the main UK party – a proposal that may be more popular now that it was eight years ago. Also wants a fully federal UK.
- Jackson Carlaw – 5/1. Stood in for Davidson during her maternity leave from September 2018 to earlier this year, in what turned out to be a far less quiet period in British politics than he’d been expecting. One Scottish Tory source told Guido he did a good job.
- Adam Tomkins – 6/1. A former lecturer at KCL and fellow at Oxford, researching (appropriately enough) constitutional theory. He was appointed as an unpaid adviser to the then Scottish Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell during the passage of the Scotland Bill through Parliament.
- Donald Cameron – 8/1. Harrow and Oxford-educated, Donald unsuccessfully contested Westminster elections twice before being elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, and appointed Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and the Scottish Tories’ 2021 Policy Co-ordinator.
- Alister Jack – 12/1. The National is reporting that the Scottish Tories may change their structure, with a separate Holyrood group leader and a Westminster leader, drawn from the Scottish Tory MP contingent. In which case the newly-appointed Secretary of State for Scotland is the obvious contender – although Colin Clark and Liam Kerr‘s names are also being floated. A Guido source however says there’s “next to no chance” of them selecting an MP as leader.
- Annie Wells – 12/1. A former M & S retail manager of 12 years, Wells was suspended from Holyrood in 2018 – two years after assuming office – for leaking an embargoed committee report. She is a single mum as well as an out lesbian.
- Maurice Golden – 12/1. The current Chief Whip of the Scottish Tories and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, which is appropriate after working for Zero Waste Scotland for five years.
This leadership competition will be ruthless…