THE leader of the Scottish Conservatives has resigned ahead of next year's Holyrood elections. 

Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw confirmed he would stand down from his role, saying he is not, in the present circumstances, the person "best placed" to lead the case for Scotland remaining part of the UK ahead of the 2021 vote. 

Mr Carlaw only took over the role in February when he was chosen by members to replace Ruth Davidson. 

In a statement, he said: "Over the summer I have had the chance to think hard about my role as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

"Nothing is more important to me than making the case for Scotland's place in the United Kingdom.

“I believe the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party is the most important voice in Scotland for setting out that positive argument. I am clear that nothing must get in the way of doing so.

"In the last few weeks, I have reached a simple if painful conclusion - that I am not, in the present circumstances, the person best placed to lead that case over these next vital months in Scottish politics prior to the Holyrood elections.

“Given the importance I attach to the job, I've therefore decided to stand down with immediate effect.

“It is not an easy call but I have spent a lifetime in politics holding to the maxim that party and country comes first.

“I believe I am doing my duty by holding to that view now."

More to follow...