Ruth Davidson backs Theresa May for leader of the Conservative party

James Nickerson
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Ruth Davidson Boards The Sir Walter Scott Steamship
Davidson has stunned many by taking the Tories to second place in Holyrood (Source: Getty)

We are living in serious times, and serious times call for serious people like Theresa May, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said as she gave the home secretary her backing for Tory leader.

Davidson, who recently pulled a coup d'état by pushing Labour into second place in Scotland, said that she trusts May to go "eyeball to eyeball" with Angela Merkel and not blink, while she will assess evidence before making a decision.

Writing in the Telegraph, Davidson said: "I have long admired Theresa May’s grit, steely tenacity and quiet strength. A surprisingly shy woman in person, she does not seek the limelight nor court the gossip pages of the red tops. She simply gets on with the job."

Read more: Tories beat Labour into second place in Scotland

"If she says she’s going to do something, you know it will get done. If she disagrees, she will tell you plainly and politely that it’s simply not going to happen. Unshowy and without flattery or false promises, Theresa plays everything with a straight bat."

Davidson's comments come as Andrea Leadsom joined May to make up the final two candidates. They will now face a ballot of Conservative party members, not MPs, to see who can take the top job.

While May is still favourite, Leadsom will pose a threat, having surprised many in coming second ahead of the other candidates, including Michael Gove.

Read more: The former boss of Barings Bank has said he cannot recall Andrea Leadsom

Davidson added: "The next few years are going to be hard for whoever inhabits number 10. Not only is there the tough choices to be made in the country’s Brexit negotiations with 27 other European nations, but there’s the instability within our home nations of the UK, too," Davidson added, pointing to the potential pushes for independence in Scotland and reunification in Northern Ireland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon before the referendum said if Scotland was taken out of the EU against its will, she would consider it as justifying a second independence referendum.

"That’s why we need a Prime Minister that can go toe to toe with Nicola Sturgeon, too," Davidson continued.

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