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THERE was an enthusiastic welcome to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson when she spoke at the party’s spring conference in Aberdeen earlier this month after returning from maternity leave.

She set out a positive achievable agenda for a stronger, better Scotland, within the UK, in contrast to the constant agitating by the SNP Scottish Government for independence.

The last couple of years have been difficult and many of my constituents tell me they want to see the country finally move on, free from repeat referendums be they Brexit or independence.

Ruth is setting out an ambitious route map to bring a wind of change across Scotland and has my full support.

Her obvious ambition is to replace Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister after the next scheduled Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2021 and I firmly believe she has the qualities to steer the nation in a better, fairer and more prosperous direction.

As Leader of the Opposition at Holyrood, Ruth is determined to hold the SNP Government to account and even to persuade Ministers to take on board some Scottish Conservative progressive ideas.

In her speech, she said: “Our message is that we can prosper now.

“That we can back our businesses, build up our institutions and give future generations the skills to take on all comers.”

Ruth accused Nicola Sturgeon of searching the horizon, even on sunny days, to find a dark cloud … then blaming it on Westminster!

I speak to Ruth regularly and know after her absence she feels refreshed and ready for the challenges ahead.

She will campaign for improvements in areas such as education, the NHS and transport.

She is also very focused on the south of Scotland, our unique economy, issues and aspirations and I look forward to welcoming her again to the constituency soon.