Scottish Conservatives voice support for Theresa May

Ruth Davidson has hailed the Prime Minister’s “cojones of steel” as she gave her full support to her party’s under-fire leader.

Theresa May is facing a challenge to her leadership of the Conservative Party after 48 MPs submitted letters of no confidence in her, triggering a ballot on Wednesday evening.

She has vowed to fight that with “everything I’ve got”.

Ms Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, backed the PM as she tweeted her support for Mrs May.

She stated: “The Prime Minister has cojones of steel and is putting in a punishing degree of effort to deliver for our country. She has my full support.”

Ms Davidson is currently on maternity leave from her post, after giving birth to her son in October.

Other senior figures in the party in Scotland also rallied behind the Prime Minister, with interim leader Jackson Carlaw urging party members to “unite” behind Mrs May.

He tweeted the leadership contest was a “self-indulgent distraction at a critical time for the country”.

Mr Carlaw said: “Conservatives must unite behind @theresa_may She continues to have my full support.”

Meanwhile Scottish Secretary David Mundell took to Twitter to declare: “PM has my full support. A leadership contest is the last thing we need. The public want us to sort #Brexit now!”

Annie Wells, Conservative MSP for Glasgow, said: “The PM has shown an immense amount of commitment to the job and if I was voting tonight, she would have my vote. I’m 100% behind the PM.”

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton also made clear his support for Mrs May, as did fellow Scottish Tory MP Andrew Bowie.

He tweeted: “This party has always been at its best when moderate, mainstream, compassionate & governing in the national interest. That’s the party I joined & am proud to represent.

“And in @theresa_may I’m proud to have a leader that shares those values. She has my full and unwavering support.”

Fellow Scottish Tory MP Kirstene Hair pledged she would be “supporting the Prime Minister @theresa_may this evening”

Ms Hair described the PM as being “a true public servant who has the national interest at the forefront of everything she does”.

Colin Clark, the MP for Gordon, declared: “This is not the time for an upheaval. I will be supporting our Prime Minister @theresa_may in the #NoConfidence vote tonight”.

Stirling MP Stephen Kerr tweeted: “I will give my support to The Prime Minister tonight. She has shown herself to be a pragmatic and sensible leader who has put the country first. She has my full confidence.”

But John Lamont MP, who had already spoken about his intention to vote against Mrs May’s Brexit deal, said: “As a member of the Executive of the 1922 Committee, I will be making no comment on the ballot taking place later today.”