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by Staff reporter
23 February 2018
Scottish Tories to build case for government at conference, promises Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson - credit David Anderson/Holyrood

Scottish Tories to build case for government at conference, promises Ruth Davidson

Next week’s Scottish Conservative conference will mark the start of Ruth Davidson’s bid to be First Minister, the Tory leader has told Holyrood.

In an exclusive interview with Holyrood editor Mandy Rhodes, Davidson said the party will focus on building a winning policy portfolio for the 2021 Scottish election in Aberdeen next Friday.

This would counter claims recent electoral successes have only been because of the party’s strong unionist stance, she said.

“This conference we’re having in March is going to be really important for us because it’s the first time in 30 years, maybe, that you’ve got a group of Scottish Conservatives getting together and saying, how do we form the next government of Scotland?” she said.

"That’s an ambitious belief that we’ve never allowed ourselves to have before and that means that yes, we’re looking at areas where you would traditionally expect Conservatives to look, things like law and order, things like the economy, but we’re also doing big strands at our conference on the environment and rural economies.

"We’re doing big strands in areas of social and public services. These are areas that would not ordinarily be associated with us but we recognise we’ve got to have a full policy provision to stand up in 2021 and say, ‘we are an alternative government for Scotland’. That’s the next step.”

She said the electoral gains meant more elected councillors, MSPs and MPs are in communities to lead the campaign and for people to relate to.

She added: “As Tories, we’d been ‘othered’ for some time but having local representatives, people that you can see that are like you, that go to your church, that work in your factory, that live in your street, working hard for their community, do more to give us a platform for the future than even a good result at the general election or a good result in the Scottish Parliament one. They will be the platform on which we’ll grow and which we’ll build.”

You can read the full interview in Monday’s edition of Holyrood magazine, which will also be available at the party conference.

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