Ruth Davidson signals possible move to Westminster if she loses 2021 Holyrood election

Ruth Davidson received a rapturous welcome at the Tory conference - AFP or licensors

Ruth Davidson has given the clearest signal yet that she could stand for a Westminster seat in 2022 if she fails to win the next Holyrood election.

The Scottish Conservative leader has repeatedly been touted as a possible replacement for Theresa May, and was backed by the Tory grandee Lord Heseltine in October as someone who has “begun to qualify” for the job.

She previously insisted she had no plans to become an MP, but has admitted in a new interview that if the Tories fail to win the 2021 Scottish Parliament election she will consider her options.

Ms Davidson also said she believed that Jeremy Corbyn would be “eminently beatable” in the next election.

She told The Spectator that she had been the Scottish leader for six years, and her two predecessors lasted around six and a half years each.

Ms Davidson added that after that “we can start other conversations”, and when asked if that meant coming to Westminster, she replied: “I haven’t ruled it out. If devolution is going to work, then actually there has to be the ability to move between chambers and parliaments.”

Her popularity was clear at the party conference two months ago following a spectacular result in the general election in June when the Scottish Tories won 13 seats - 12 more than the last time round - including Alex Salmond’s constituency.

They are also the second party at Holyrood and Ms Davidson aims to become First Minister after the 2021 vote. 

Ruth Davidson has been touted as a replacement for Theresa May Credit: Reuters

Asked what went wrong with the Tories in England in the general election, she appeared to have a dig at Mrs May’s “strong and stable” mantra, saying: “I’ve got a bit of experience in campaigning. Part of the issue is a belief that you can say the same thing every day for seven weeks and the media will just report that.

“Voters don’t like results being declared before they have cast their votes, thanks very much. There was a bit of a backlash there. Corbyn was seen as a safe receptacle because everybody had written off his chances. Well, he won’t be a safe receptacle next time.

“I don’t believe that Jeremy Corbyn is unstoppable. I think he’s eminently beatable in 2022. People who are so afraid of him do need to get their act together and start making that case now.”

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