Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson’s credibility has been left in tatters by UK PM David Cameron according to former Conservative MSP Ted Brocklebank.
Writing in the Sunday Post, Mr Brocklebank, who was a senior member of the party’s Holyrood group of MSPs, said that David Cameron’s referendum position had “destroyed any remaining shreds of her credibility”.
In his article Mr Brocklebank, who was Annabel Goldie’s rural affairs spokesman, wrote:
“So where does this leave the Scottish Tories? Up the creek with neither paddle nor coherent strategy would be a charitable assessment …
“…[David Cameron’s] offer of more devolved powers post-referendum, destroyed any remaining shreds of her credibility. Her winning candidacy for the Tory leadership in Scotland was based on her line in the sand approach to further devolved powers …
“If the PM could so off-handedly torpedo his new Scottish leader’s entire raison d’etre, what did that say about her absurd earlier claim to be Cameron’s “equal” in a Scottish political context?”
Commenting on the article, SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald said it had left the Tory Party in Scotland at sixes and sevens on the constitution.
Mr MacDonald, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, said:
“The Tory Party in Scotland are now at sixes and sevens on the constitution with their leader caught between playing to the reactionary element of her party and the ever-changing instructions from her boss in Westminster.
“Her comments about the Scotland Bill being a ‘line in the sand’ were clearly out of sync with the thoughts – if not outlined policy – of her boss David Cameron who has been making noises about powers for the Scottish Parliament. It makes one wonder what they actually spoke about the day after she got elected.
“The anti-independence parties are falling out with each other and within themselves. Ruth Davidson needs to make clear who is in charge of her party, and what exactly they are offering the people of Scotland.
“Only the SNP will stand-up for the people of this country by putting forward positive policies which will move Scotland forward.”
Ruth Davidson replaced Annabel Goldie as leader of the party in Scotland. The former BBC presenter was a dramatic victor over one time favourite Murdo Fraser who had called on the party to ditch its toxic image and re-brand itself in Scotland.
Ms Davidson’s tenure has been marked by a number of high profile gaffes that have left her periodically at odds with her London bosses and having to backtrack.
Her claims that the Scotland Bill was a “line in the sand” were undermined after Mr Cameron suggested that further devolution could be discussed if Scots rejected independence.
She was also left floundering after describing the SNP’s proposed referendum question as “fair and decisive” when within hours, senior party figures were claiming it was biased.
Some commentators have questioned the decision to hand the leadership of the party to a political novice. The Times journalist Angus McLeod said it was clear that the Scottish Conservatives had made a “massive mistake” and described Ms Davidson as being “all over the place”.
Ms Davidson became an MSP for the first time at the last election, having previously been a presenter for BBC Scotland.