Scottish Conservative leadership contender Ruth Davidson MSP was on the campaign trail last week as her tour of Scottish Parliamentary constituencies reached the North East.
Ms Davidson visited several local businesses across the North East, as she met with party members to build support for her bid to take over from Annabel Goldie as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
As well as stopping in Oldmeldrum, she visited Buckie, Aberdeen and Peterhead, where she was welcomed by Port Trust member and former Conservative candidate, Jimmy Buchan.
After discussing plans for the future expansion of the port, Ms Davidson praised the “ambitious” work of those involved. “It is fantastic to see so much work going on in Peterhead to increase business to the port”, she said. “During these tough times, the work that is going on here is an example to all of Scotland of what can be achieved by hard work and vision for the future.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Buchan praised Ms Davidson’s visit. “It’s great to see Ruth taking the time and effort to visit Peterhead where I was able to give her a full account of what we do here”, he said. “This port supports the fishing, oil, gas and renewables sectors and its success makes a huge contribution to the surrounding area.”
Later, Ms Davidson expressed her desire to revive Tory fortunes in the North East - which she described as being a former ‘heartland’ for the party. She also distanced herself from leadership rival Murdo Fraser, who has sparked controversy in party ranks over his plans to drop the ‘Scottish Conservative and Unionist’ brand and create a new Scottish party, which would affiliate to the UK Conservatives.
“Our party needs real change to reconnect with people in Scotland and increase our electoral success in the future”, she said. “A change of name isn’t going to do it - we need a generational change and a new leader who can make the Conservatives a modern and relevant force in Scottish politics once again.”
The result of the leadership election will be announced on 4 November.