RUTH DAVIDSON’S Conservatives will launch their bid to become the next Scottish government at their upcoming conference.
Activists are gathering in Aberdeen next week, with Ms Davidson describing the event as the first time in some 30 years where the Tories have been able to present themselves as a future government.
It comes after the Tories overtook Labour to become the second largest party at Holyrood in 2016, while the 2017 general election saw the number of Scottish Conservative MPs rise from just one to 13.
Ms Davidson’s successes in Scotland have marked her out as a rising star in the UK Conservative Party – but while there has been speculation she could stand south of the border, the Tory MSP has insisted she has set her sights on becoming Scotland’s next First Minister.
Speaking to Holyrood magazine, Ms Davidson 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?’.
“That’s an ambitious belief that we’ve never allowed ourselves to have before.”
While she said the Conservative conference would feature debates on issues traditionally popular with Tory supporters, such as law and order and the economy, she added that there would also be “big strands at our conference on the environment and rural economies”.
Ms Davidson said: “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.”