Jackson Carlaw becomes leader of Scottish Conservatives

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Jackson Carlaw has been elected new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, replacing Ruth Davidson.

MSP Mr Carlaw will take charge of the top job running Holyrood’s second biggest political party.

The contest was called after Ms Davidson resigned in August last year, citing the “conflict I have felt over Brexit” and wanting more time to look after her new baby.

She had led a successful comeback for the Tories over eight years, consigning the common saying that there were more pandas in Scotland than Conservative MPs to history by taking them from one to 13 seats.

But the party’s fortunes slid into reverse at the December 2019 election, dipping to six seats in response to another surge for the Scottish National Party (SNP).

Mr Carlaw, reportedly a former car salesman for 25 years, was interim leader during the recent campaign.

He won 4,917 votes (76%) to beat off competition from Scottish Tory social security spokeswoman Michelle Ballantyne, who got 1,581 (24%) in the internal ballot of party members.

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Speaking to Sky News, Mr Carlaw set his sights on removing the SNP from government north of the border in next year’s Scottish parliament election.

“After 14 years of the SNP, with every single public service in this new decade in a worse state than it was only a year ago, Scotland is looking for an alternative,” he said.

“That’s what we’ve got to become.

“We’re not there yet so we need to urgently review our policy, come forward with our policy prospectus that I think will attract the support of people in Scotland and then campaign with everything we’ve got.”

Ms Davidson congratulated Mr Carlaw on his success on getting “the best job in Scottish politics” and praised him for being “by far the most experienced person ever to have undertaken this role”.

Jackson Carlaw becomes leader of Scottish Conservatives

Jackson Carlaw has been elected new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, replacing Ruth Davidson. Mr Carlaw will take charge of the top job running Holyrood’s second biggest political party. The contest was called after Ms Davidson resigned in August last year, citing the “conflict I have felt over Brexit” and wanting more time to look after her new baby.

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