Scottish Conservative leader resigns after election disaster

Elizabeth Fournier
ANNABEL Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservative party, yesterday announced her resignation from the party following the Tories’ worst ever election result in Scotland.

Goldie was the last of the main opposition leaders to step down after last week’s landslide victory for the SNP, with her Labour and Liberal Democrat counterparts Iain Gray and Tavish Scott announcing their resignations over the weekend.

On Saturday Goldie had insisted she would stay at the helm of the party despite its crushing defeat in the Scottish parliamentary elections.

But yesterday she said she would step down this autumn, leaving deputy Murdo Fraser to take over.

After Thursday’s vote the number of seats held by the Scottish Conservatives fell to 15 from a notional total of 20 held since 2007.

“I believe that the time has come for the torch to pass and I can confirm that I will not be a candidate,” said Goldie.

She added that the Conservatives had run “the right campaign” in Scotland.

SNP leader Alex Salmond praised Goldie, who had led the Tories for more than five years, saying: “Although her party lost ground I believe they would have lost more had she not been leader.”