Ruth Davidson Will Make 'Forceful' Case For Scotland

10 June 2017, 17:26

Scottish Conservative MPs

Ruth Davidson has vowed to put Scotland's case "forcefully'' to the Prime Minister after significantly increasing the number of Tory MPs north of the border.

However, the Scottish Tory leader dismissed reports she will seek to break the Scottish Conservatives away from the UK party following Theresa May's disastrous General Election result.

It is thought Ms Davidson will now have increased clout with Number 10 after the Tories won 13 seats north of the border.

The Scottish group is larger than the DUP, the party Theresa May is seeking support from to form a government.

Ms Davidson has already hinted she will use her sway to influence the Brexit deal, and has insisted there needs to be wider consensus on the terms of leaving the EU.

Speaking as she gathered with the new Scottish Tory MPs in Stirling, Ms Davidson said: "I'm going to make sure that along with the 13 MPs we're sending to Westminster, we put Scotland's case forcefully and make sure that we deliver for Scotland and make sure that the union delivers for Scotland too.''

She added: "I want to ensure that we can look again at issues like Brexit which we know we are now going to have to get cross-party support for. And move to a consensus within the country about what it means and what we seek to achieve as we leave.''

On Friday Ms Davidson said the Government must deliver "an open Brexit, not a closed one, which puts our country's economic growth first''.

Asked to explain what she meant by "open Brexit'', she said: "When I am talking about open Brexit, it is about making sure that we increase freedoms rather than increase barriers, it is about making sure that put free trade at the heart of what it is we seek to achieve as we leave.''

Ms Davidson also rejected a report that the Scottish Tories were now preparing to split from the UK party, however it is understood they will operate as a distinct group within the wider UK parliamentary group.

She said it had been decided when she became leader that "we (the Scottish party) would have complete autonomy over policy, candidates, campaigning, finance, which is what we have ... but we would take the Conservative whip at Westminster and that is exactly what is going to happen''.

Meanwhile, Ms Davidson confirmed she has given her "full support'' to Mrs May staying on as PM.

"The Prime Minister was the leader that made sure that we came out with the largest number of votes and seats, she has my full support as she makes sure that we move forward with a strong government,'' she said.

But the Scottish leader became rattled after she repeatedly refused to be drawn on whether the election result had strengthened or weakened Mrs May.

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