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Davidson denies Scottish Tories may break from UK party

Ruth Davidson said there was no truth to the reports. Credit: PA

The Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has firmly denied claims that her party could break away from the main UK party.

She hit back at a report from the Daily Telegraph suggesting that her aides were secretly working on a deal to split the parties after the Tories saw gains north of the border but losses in England in the General Election.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Davidson said the claim was"b****cks".

"Folk might remember I fought a leadership election on the other side of that particular argument," she added.

The comment referenced her opposition to a similar plan put forward by rival Murdo Fraser in the contest to lead the Scottish Tories in 2011.

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Davidson: Tories only party capable of challenging SNP

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Credit: PA

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said her party poses the only serious challenge to the Scottish National Party (SNP) government.

"Labour's chaos means that, here in Scotland, there now can be only one party which can offer the challenge that's required to the nationalists", she told the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow.

The SNP have been in power at Holyrood since 2007. But they have faced a growing challenge from the Scots Conservatives, who took 31 seats and overtook Labour to become the largest opposition party at the 2016 election.

Ms Davidson pledged to focus on improving schools and work to get "get the best Brexit deal for all of us" in her speech.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale hit back at Davidson's "cheek", saying the Conservatives had allowed the focus to remain on questions of a second independence referendum "rather than closing the growing gap between the richest and the poorest in our schools".