Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said she never believed “someone like me” could be appointed to the House of Lords, as she prepares to take up the new role this week.
Ms Davidson, who served as Holyrood leader for the party until May’s Scottish Parliament election, has taken the title Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links, the village in Fife where she grew up from the age of five and where her parents still live.
She will be introduced in the Upper Chamber on Tuesday by Mark McInnes, director of the Scottish Conservatives and Richard Keen, former chairman of the Scottish Conservatives and former Advocate General.
Ms Davidson served as an MSP from 2011 to 2021 and stood down as leader of the Scottish Conservatives in August 2019 before her appointment to the Lords was announced in July 2020.
She stated that she would not take her seat until after completing her term of office as an MSP at Holyrood.
Ms Davidson said: “The job in the House of Lords is to scrutinise and amend legislation – basically, to make sure all UK-wide laws are fit for purpose.
“This is important work and it’s vital that it is undertaken by a mix of people from all backgrounds and all parts of the country.
“As a teenage Modern Studies pupil, learning about politics at Buckhaven High School, I didn’t believe that someone like me could ever have the chance to serve in not one, but two parliaments.
“I hope to take all of the experience I’ve gained over the last decade in Holyrood and put it to good use in my new role.
“I am keen to make a contribution in areas of importance to me such as gambling reform, end of life choices and the constitution, and pledge to work with members from all parties and none in reforming the House of Lords into a democratic chamber. ”
Unaccountable and ridiculous
Ms Davidson is the fifth former Scottish leader to be appointed to the House of Lords after Labour’s Jack McConnell, Lib Dems Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen, and Annabel Goldie, from the Scottish Conservatives.
Labour MSP Katy Clark is also currently a member of the House of Lords.
SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “‘I’m sure the people of Lundin Links will be thrilled to have an unelected Tory Baroness take the name of their village to the most unaccountable and ludicrous legislative chamber in the world.
“What we now need to hear from the putative Baroness Lundin Links is that she is not leaving elected politics to take any sort of unelected government job with responsibilities over Scotland.”
Ms Davidson has ruled out becoming Scottish Secretary in the Lords amid speculation that she may be asked to replace Alister Jack.
An SNP spokesperson said: “The leader responsible for a Scottish Tory operation to keep Boris Johnson out of Downing Street has now fully sold out, having been bought by his gift of a lucrative lifetime seat in the Lords.
“It’s questionable whether the good Fifers of Lundin Links will appreciate being associated with such an insult to democracy as the unelected Lords.
“And given the appalling stench of sleaze that surrounds Ruth Davidson’s Westminster colleagues, perhaps a better title would be Baroness Davidson of dodgy links.”