Douglas Ross has declined to reveal what he discussed with Ruth Davidson four days before his predecessor as Scottish Conservative leader resigned.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Mr Ross said the visit former party leader Ms Davidson paid to his Moray home on July 26 was private and would be kept as such.
News of the meeting emerged on Thursday, the day after Mr Ross was appointed as leader when no other challengers put themselves forward for the post.
Mr Ross, the MP for Moray, has asked Ms Davidson to lead First Minister’s Questions for his party on his behalf. He plans to stand for a seat at Holyrood next year.
But he said Ms Davidson will not be his deputy and he is expected to announce his front bench team in the coming days.
Jackson Carlaw stood down on the evening of July 30, just hours after facing Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament.
Mr Carlaw said that after contemplating his future over the summer, he had decided he was not the right person to lead the party.
Mr Ross told the PA news agency on Wednesday that he had not had any discussions with party members before he announced his plan to stand for the leadership the day after Mr Carlaw’s resignation.
On Friday, he said: “I’m sorry it adds to speculation, but it was a private meeting.”
Mr Ross added that if he ever has a private meeting with a journalist, they can be assured he will not tell other media organisations what it was about.
He continued: “What I have said is that I asked Ruth and she agreed to lead First Minister’s Questions for me if I become leader only after Jackson resigned.
“I hope that gives you some reassurance on that point.”
Mr Ross added that he is not afraid to stand up to the UK Government once more if it is in the interest of the people of Scotland.
He resigned as a Scotland minister in May after Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings defended his trip to County Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.
Asked on BBC Newsnight whether being closely aligned with Mr Johnson will harm his popularity in Scotland, Mr Ross said: “Well I think I’ve already shown in resigning from Government that I won’t simply agree to everything the Prime Minister and the UK Government says.
“And I think people across Scotland are looking for politicians who will work together across parties and across governments to deliver the best deal for Scotland.
“And I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk, and if it means disagreeing with the UK Government as I did when I resigned from Government earlier on this year, that is what I’ll do in the best interest of the people across Scotland.”
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