Ruth Davidson visited new Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross at his Moray home four days before the resignation of his predecessor.
The former leader told the BBC during the leadership race of the past week that there was no “stitch-up” in the resignation her successor Jackson Carlaw, with Mr Ross telling the PA news agency the night he was named to the role that he was not approached by anyone about the leadership before he announced his own candidacy.
However, a spokesman for the party confirmed Daily Record reports a meeting between the two did take place at Mr Ross’ Moray home on July 26.
The spokesman would not go into detail about what was discussed.
He said: “Ruth did visit Douglas in Moray in a personal capacity on that date.”
When asked by the PA news agency if he was approached by members of the party to run after Mr Carlaw’s resignation, Mr Ross said: “I’ve been a name in the frame as a potential leader of the Scottish Conservative Party and people who were supporters of me – and myself – had to make a very quick and decisive decision because nine months out from an election, we had to ensure we were ready and raring to go.
“I think that if there is any criticism of the haste in terms of putting myself forward, it just shows that I’m driven and determined to immediately get in charge and make the changes we need to present a positive, strong vision for Scotland going forward.”
He added: “What I would say is, if you don’t think that from the moment Jackson Carlaw’s resignation statement dropped that there were conversations between colleagues within our party, then I think that’s stretching the imagination somewhat.”
Mr Ross was confirmed as leader on Wednesday after no other candidate emerged.
He has asked Ms Davidson to fill in for him at First Minister’s Questions when the Scottish Parliament returns next week and until the Holyrood election in May, where he is expected to stand for the Highlands and Islands region – a seat he vacated to take his place in Westminster in 2017.
However, the former leader will not be his deputy, with the new Tory frontbench team to be announced in coming days.
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