Scottish Tory leadership candidates debate how to rejuvenate party

The four Scottish Conservative leadership contestants debated what is needed to rejuvenate the party in the country.

On Wednesday's edition of Scotland Tonight, the MSPs argued over what needs to be done to increase its presence in the Scottish Parliament.

Murdo Fraser discussed his idea of creating a new Tory party separate from the UK Conservatives.

He said that many people who share the party’s political values "couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a party they think is being run from London" while the Scottish Conservatives could not continue in their current form due to the loss of votes over the past decade.

The leadership favourite claimed making a new party "with a distinct Scottish identity" would help capture back voters who have favoured other parties, like the SNP.

Ruth Davidson responded during the debate by saying that there was no need to destroy the party but to rebuild it.

She said that the Conservatives need to speak to people who have "stopped listening to us and we re-engage with them".

Ms Davidson admitted that her solution was "not a silver bullet" and would require “hard work” in order to make the party "relevant to a modern Scotland."

Fellow candidate Jackson Carlaw, who is also hoping to succeed Annabel Goldie as leader of the party, said that Mr Fraser and Ms Davidson had been “at each other’s throats” throughout the leadership campaign.

He argued that he will provide a "unity option" for the Tories in Scotland through targeting a "new electoral base for the party."

Surprise leadership race entry Margaret Mitchell said that she had a "completely different platform from the other candidates who seem happy to play into the hands of Alex Salmond’s independence bandwagon."

She also argued that all of Tory policies in the last parliament were wrong and would need to be reviewed.

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