Ruth Elizabeth Davidson (born 10 November 1978) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party from 2011 to 2019 and Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in the Scottish Parliament from 2020 to 2021. She served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow from 2011 to 2016 and for Edinburgh Central from 2016 to 2021.
- The advantages we gain from EU membership clearly and categorically outweigh any disadvantages that come with it. I campaigned for Scotland to stay part of a wider Union. And I believe Britain should stay part of a wider Union too.
- Scottish Lib Dem conference: Leader Tim Farron in staunch defence of EU BBC News (27 February 2016)
- It is not enough to say to people who have come here and made their home here and their life here that we want your labour. We’ve got to be able to say that we want your brains, we want your culture, we want your passion, we want you in our country, making our country better and giving these people security.
- Quoted by The Guardian. Ruth Davidson pokes fun at Andrea Leadsom and Boris Johnson (13 July 2016)
- There are times when you feel, oh shit, I wish I hadn’t done that, and you beat yourself up about it; and there are times when you feel desperately, desperately alone because it doesn’t feel like anyone’s helping you with the task. You have ‘punch the air’ moments, and you have ‘crying silently at night so as not to wake up the person next to you’ moments. But I guess leadership is about doing that in your own time. It’s about strength and tenacity and moral courage.
- Said in an interview with The Guardian. Ruth Davidson: ‘I’ve never been caught out. That tells you something’ (21 August 2016)
- Plenty of genuine sexism & misogyny in politics. Don't need prominent women debasing the term to cover their own poor performance. Jeez.
- Emily Thornberry accuses Sky's Murnaghan of 'sexism' BBC News (11 September 2016)
- I’m not sure the party would be happy with a drippingly wet, pro-immigrant lesbian Scot.
- Said at a party conference when asked whether she would run in the next leadership election. Quoted by the Independent. I’m convinced Ruth Davidson could be the next prime minister, even if the bookies favour Boris Johnson (21 October 2017)
- You have to want it. And I don’t want to be prime minister. [. . .] I value my relationship and my mental health too much for it. I will not be a candidate.
- Interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead in "Interview: Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, on depression, her self‑harm scars and why she’ll never be PM" The Sunday Times Magazine (16 September 2018).
- My plea to people in the room is: let’s use the kick up the backside the voters have given both the main parties, to really focus minds.
- Said after the 2019 UK local elections where both the Conservatives and Labour suffered losses. Quoted by the Financial Times. Ruth Davidson adds pressure to Brexit talks (4 May 2019)
- We have a prime minister with one foot out the door and a leadership election which has split the party between cheerleaders for the frontrunner and anyone-but-the-frontrunner.
- "A pact with the Brexit Party would be an admission the Tories are dead" The Daily Telegraph (17 June 2019), quoted by the Express. "Tory alliance with Brexit Party blasted as defeat by Ruth Davidson 'we’re not dead yet!'" (18 June 2019)
- Theresa May announced her intention to resign as Prime Minister (and party leader) on 7 June 2019, but was not replaced as PM by Boris Johnson until 24 July 2019.
- I think there are a number of people within the Conservative Party who need to take a long, hard look at themselves. Yes, I understand of course we have got to respect the referendum result, of course we've got to deliver Brexit, but not at the expense of breaking up the United Kingdom. I would remind people of their obligations within the party - yes, we're a Conservative Party, but we're also a Unionist party, and I'd remind them that our own union of nations is every bit as important as leaving someone else's.
- Ruth Davidson: 'Deliver Brexit, but not at expense of UK' BBC News (18 June 2019)
- Any Conservative leadership candidate must put the Union first. Jeremy [Hunt] has done so and will get my vote.
- Tweet, as cited in "Ruth Davidson backs Jeremy Hunt for PM" The Herald(26 June 2019)
- I fear that having tried to be a good leader over the years, I have proved a poor daughter, sister, partner and friend. The party and my work has always come first, often at the expense of commitments to loved ones.
- Her resignation letter on Twitter (29 August 2019) cited in Ruth Davidson quits as Scottish Conservative leader BBC News (29 August 2019)
Quotes about DavidsonEdit
- [Davidson is now] the lowest-ranked politician in the entire [cabinet] table - most likely [due to the] fallout from her highly publicised split with the prime minister and hostility to no deal.
- Written by Henry Hill, assistant editor of Conservative Home, cited in Lesley Riddoch "Ruth Davidson could boost case for Scottish independence" The Scotsman (5 August 2019)
- Gone is the working mum and Boris-sceptic who got a degree of sympathy after standing down as Scottish Tory leader in August. That image has been replaced by a brazen corporate lobbyist mooching her way to the 2021 election while tapping taxpayers £63,579 a year as a part-time MSP for Edinburgh Central.
- Tom Gordon "Ruth Davidson messed up and she needs to move on" the Herald (26 October 2019)
- Following criticism of Davidson for accepting an advisory post at a lobbying firm while still a sitting MSP.