Keep your grubby hands off our Ruth, Jeffrey!
Grandee warned me not to poach her, reveals Archer
FORMER MP Jeffrey Archer has revealed he was warned off poaching Ruth Davidson as a potential replacement for Theresa May because she was ‘needed’ in Scotland.
The ex-deputy chairman of the Conservative Party claims he was told to keep his ‘hands off’ the leader of the Scottish Tories by Lord Sanderson during the 2015 General Election campaign.
Lord Sanderson had been responsible for overhauling the Scottish party leadership following the disastrous 2010 General Election in which the Tories won only one seat north of the Border.
Yesterday, in an interview with The Scottish Mail on Sunday, Lord Archer, 78, told how he had helpfully suggested to Lord Sanderson three years ago that Miss Davidson would make ‘a rather good leader of the party’ overall.
He said: ‘Lord Sanderson replied, “Keep your grubby hands off her Jeffrey, she’s ours and we intend to keep her”.’
Lord Archer added: ‘I was very surprised. I think she is a thoroughly decent human being and I think the Tory Party were incredibly lucky that she arrived at this particular time because if she hadn’t the Tory Party in Scotland would have been wiped out at the last election.’
Acknowledging that Miss Davidson had ruled out becoming leader of the party in the future, Lord Archer said: ‘I’d vote for Ruth Davidson as a person.
‘I can honestly say to you I am very impressed by her. She strikes me as a woman of her word.
‘She strikes me at one level as a very simple honest person and on another as a very sophisticated politician.
‘With some people they would be bluffing about not wanting to be leader of the Conservative Party, but with her I accept what she says without hesitation.’
Lord Archer, who is also an international best-selling author, has published his latest novel, Heads You Win, to critical acclaim.
The new novel describes a KGB assassination and involves a ruthless Kremlin regime.
The master storyteller who has sold more than 330 million books across 97 countries since publishing his first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, in 1976, believes that there could also be a plot twist ahead for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
‘Every politician has a shelf life as Angela Merkel is discovering,’
‘Every politician has a shelf life’
Lord Archer said. ‘There doesn’t seem an obvious successor [to Miss Sturgeon], so I assume she’ll remain in place for some time. And she remains determined, probably in her lifetime, to see Scotland become independent.’
On the prospect of Scottish independence, he added: ‘If the Scottish people want another independence referendum, who are we to argue? Who can say what young people will decide in 30 or 40 years, but I would have thought it unlikely in the short term.’
NICE TRY: His suggestion that Davidson move south was rebuffed
RUTH DAVIDSON: ‘Sophisticated’
NOVEL: Archer’s latest work