Ruth leads the anti-Johnson backlash
SCOTTISH Tory leader Ruth Davidson launched an outspoken attack on Boris Johnson for throwing down the gauntlet to Theresa May on the day that London was targeted by terrorists.
Ms Davidson said: ‘On the day of a terror attack where Britons were maimed, just hours after the threat level is raised, our only thoughts should be on service.’
It is not the first time that the two Tories, both of whom have been tipped as future party leaders, have clashed. Friends say that 38-year-old Ms Davidson ‘cordially loathes’ the 52-year-old Old Etonian, regarding him as ‘toxic’ to the party’s prospects north of the Border. She has been openly mocking of his ‘brazen chauvinistic style’ and has even privately threatened to break from the UK Tories and form a new party if Boris became Prime Minister.
Such a move would be devastating: Theresa May only clung on to power in the General Election thanks to the 12 seats Ms Davidson gained in Scotland.
The enmity stems in large part from Boris’s Brexit beliefs, which Remainer Ms Davidson strongly opposes.
During the referendum she warned that leaving the EU would harm the poor most, while ‘Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage would be OK’ because of their wealth.
In one TV debate, questioning the economic effect of a failure to strike post-Brexit trade deals, she taunted him: ‘How many jobs will it be, Boris? How many?’
She has also cracked near the-knuckle jokes about ‘the Tories enjoying a post-coital cigarette after withdrawing our massive Johnson’.
Ms Davidson, whose down-toearth style has been a hit with voters, has surged past Boris in internal Party popularity.
After Mrs May’s Election disaster, Ms Davidson won the highest net satisfaction rating among party members of any senior Tory – with an 84.5 per cent positive rating, well ahead of Boris at 38.8 per cent.
Ms Davidson, of course, has said that her first aim is to displace Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister of Scotland.
But her popularity means that other Tory leadership contenders have been courting her as the leadership ‘kingmaker’.
OUTSPOKEN: Ruth Davidson is a long-time critic of Boris