Councillors welcome new Tory leader

Taking the lead: Ellon Conservative Councillor GIllian Owen has welcomed the election of Ruth Davidson as her party's new Scottish leader.
Taking the lead: Ellon Conservative Councillor GIllian Owen has welcomed the election of Ruth Davidson as her party's new Scottish leader.

Local Conservative politicians have offered their congratulations to Ruth Davidson, following her election as Scottish Conservative leader.

Ms Davidson emerged triumphant in the ballot of party members, after a bruising contest in which she managed to see off early favourite, Murdo Fraser.

The contest was the first time that the 8,000 party members had been able to elect their leader in Scotland.

After a close first round, Ms Davidson defeated Mr Fraser by 2,983 votes to 2,417 once other candidates had been eliminated.

After paying tribute to her fellow candidates, Ms Davidson pledged to turn the Scottish Conservatives into “the political wing of the Scottish people”, and promised she would aim to “reach out” to voters who shared Conservative values but felt they had no voice.

“I want to rebuild and revitalise the party - not just for ourselves - but so that people all over Scotland will come to us, confident that we will speak for them and stand up for them”, she said.

Ellon & District Councillor Gillian Owen said that Ms Davidson would be “a breath of fresh air” for the party. “I was fortunate to meet Ruth during her tour of the North East and was greatly impressed by her knowledge and commitment”, she said. “I will be writing to her to congratulate her and ask that we as a party do all we can to reclaim our support in the North East.”

Mid-Formartine Councillor Jim Gifford said that while Ms Davidson had been his second choice, he was “very happy” that she had been elected by a majority of members.

“The party in Scotland needs a radical shake up and I hope that Ruth will take up that challenge with a vengeance”, he said. “I look forward to working with her and her new team as we prepare for the council elections next year.”