Friday update: Today's Scotsman hints at potential clashes between Ruth and the SNP candidate, David Kerr, contrasting the facts that she is a lesbian and he is an member of Opus Dei.
Former Sunday school teacher, Territorial Army volunteer and journalist Ruth Davidson has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the Glasgow North East by-election. The seat - vacated by the Speaker - has not been contested by the Conservatives since 1997 when our candidate won 6% of the vote. The SNP's David Kerr is expected to be Labour's main challenger for the seat.
She has kicked off her campaign with this pledge to fight honestly and cleanly:
"I, the undersigned, pledge in the Glasgow North East by-election campaign:
- To show by our actions that politics need not be a dirty game, but can be a clean and positive activity, engaged in genuinely for the good of all.
- To tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and about what others stand for and have achieved.
- To refrain from personal attacks.
- Not to mislead the public about who is doing well and about who is likely to win in these elections.
- To make only honest and reasonable promises.
- To fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around the issues that concern the people of Glasgow North East.
- To be honest about public spending, and not to scaremonger in ways that may frighten the most vulnerable members of our society, such as children and elderly people.
- To take money only from organisations and individuals whose motives in giving us money we do not have reason to suspect.
We encourage voters:
- To expect from us decent and honest behaviour, as candidates and as their elected representatives.
- To ask Parties operating in this by-election whether they have signed up to the Pledge or not, and, if not, to encourage them to do so.
- And to help us enforce this Pledge, by reporting truthfully to us and to the media any apparent breaches of it."
"I am honoured to be the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Glasgow North East. I will begin by pledging to fight an honest campaign. Since the controversy over MPs expenses people have lost trust in politics and as a result I think it is important to fight a campaign that engages people rather than turns them off politics. Chloe Smith signed this pledge in Norwich North and fought an honest campaign. I want to do the same. I may disagree with the other candidates on many issues from justice policies to the economy but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight a clean and honest campaign. We should be focusing on what matters to people in Glasgow North East not on doing each other down by resorting to smears and fears. I urge the candidates from all other parties to sign up to this pledge and to be straight with the people of Glasgow North East."David Cameron issued this statement:
"I wish Ruth all the best in the Glasgow North East by-election. It is great that she has pledged to fight a clean and honest campaign. Politics is about winning arguments, not smears and fears. I look forward to coming to the constituency during the campaign and supporting Ruth's challenge."RUTH DAVIDSON'S BIOGRAPHY
"I’ve worked as a presenter, a news journalist and a documentary maker for the last nine years, mostly with BBC Scotland and REAL Radio in Glasgow. I am now studying international development at Glasgow University. All those years as a reporter made me realise I wanted to stop talking about the issues and actually get involved.I think it is time for politicians to stop the talking and start doing something. The recent expenses scandal gives the impression that all MPs do at Westminster is line their own pockets. David Cameron wants to end all that and he wants Conservatives from different backgrounds who have never previously been involved in politics to step forward. I think he is right so I decided to stand. I also want to show Labour that they can't take areas like Glasgow North East for granted any more – it's time somebody spoke up demanding ideas and policies to help hard-working people get through the current tough times. Labour have failed to do that during their 12 years in office and the SNP are failing now.
I was in the Territorial Army for nearly three years but had to leave after breaking my back in a training exercise. I was also a Sunday School teacher and over the years I've done a lot of voluntary work, from helping deliver charity envelopes to volunteering with a radio station for the blind.
Outside of work and politics I was raised to be an avid sports fan and although I don't play five-a-sides as often as I used to, I still watch football, rugby and just about any other competitive sport on television. I also enjoy hillwalking, kickboxing, socialising with friends, walking the dogs and I'm a fully paid up member of the official Scotland Supporters’ Club and go to all the home games at Hampden.
I'm 30 years old and live with my partner and two dogs in Partick."