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What Ruth Davidson’s speech says about the second referendum debate

1 October 2018

4:21 PM

1 October 2018

4:21 PM

For a certain wing of the Tory party, Ruth Davidson is their Queen over the water. Their fondness for her was only increased by her saying that she won’t run for leader because she cares too much for her mental health and relationship. So it was striking that the Tories decided that the best use of Davidson at this conference was to argue against a second referendum.

Davidson made all the usual arguments against a second referendum with typical gusto. She argued that another Brexit vote would lead ‘to more division, more rancour and a politics trapped in the past.’ But what was most interesting was the fact that this was the focus of her speech. It suggests that there is more concern about another referendum at the top of the Tory party than most of us had realised.

This was Davidson’s last UK political engagement for some time, as she is about to head off on maternity leave. When she returns, it will be fascinating to see if she can maintain her huge influence on the political scene despite having ruled out ever standing to be Prime Minister.


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