31 July 2020 | UK NEWS
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has resigned from his post after only five months in the position.
Jackson Carlaw suddenly announced his decision yesterday afternoon, after reaching the conclusion that he was not the “person best placed” to lead the Scottish Conservatives into the next Scottish Parliament elections.
Mr Carlaw was the deputy leader during the previous leader Ruth Davidson’s tenure as Scottish Conservative leader, and has twice been acting leader.
Carlaw said he been “thinking hard” about his role in the party and had decided that a “younger and fresher voice” was necessary.
He added: “Nothing is more important to me than making the case for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.
“I believe the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party is the most important voice in Scotland for setting out that positive argument. I am clear that nothing must get in the way of doing so.
“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.”
He continued that he was leaving his position “in good heart and, crucially, with time to elect a new leader so he or she can prepare for the elections next year”.
He said the party would “unequivocally speak up for all those Scots who do not want to go back to more division, but instead want our country to move on, as part of the United Kingdom, able to rise to the challenges of the future”.
He also pledged: “I will fight that cause hard for these next few vital months as a loyal member of my party.”
Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the governing SNP in Holyrood, said: “We’ve crossed swords politically on many occasions, but worked constructively on some issues too – he has, e.g., been a strong voice for women suffering mesh complications.”
Boris Johnson said in a statement on Carlaw’s decision: “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.”
The next Holyrood election is due to take place in May 2021.