North-east MSP Liam Kerr has pledged his support to Douglas Ross’s campaign to be the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
The 45-year-old became deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives last year, alongside Annie Wells, and there were suggestions he could feel ready to take the next step, following Jackson Carlaw’s departure.
However, he has given his support to Moray MP Douglas Ross, stating he would be “delighted to back a fellow Conservative from the region”.
Mr Kerr said: “In these difficult times it is important the party unites behind both proven and strong candidates as soon as possible to ensure we can expose this dreadful SNP government.
“The best way to do that is to back Douglas Ross and that’s what I’ll be doing.
“We must never forget the north-east is a powerhouse and I’m delighted to back a fellow Conservative from the region.”
An employment lawyer before his election as a north-east regional list MSP in 2016, Mr Kerr has held the key justice brief for the Holyrood party since 2017.
Mr Carlaw quit the role after less than six months in the job, amid mounting concerns over the state of the party and its ability to defend the union at the upcoming election.
Moray MP Douglas Ross emerged as the firm favourite almost immediately after the announcement and formally confirmed on Friday that he is vying for the role.