As May licks wounds, charismatic Scottish leader rises

Ms Davidson sought to play down her appearance today, taking to Twitter to point out that she has an open invitation to attend political cabinet meetings in Westminster and has done in the past.

On Friday, she said Britain needed "the freest trade possible" with the European Union and should seek an "open Brexit, not a closed one, which puts our country's economic growth first".

Davidson's refusal to follow instructions from party headquarters has led to reports that she is ready to break the Scottish Conservatives away from their United Kingdom colleagues, which of course she has denied, but it is clear she has benefited from a level of autonomy, and that she may feel that more control is required if further progress is to be made north of the border.

The scale of that success, with the Tories toppling two of the Scottish National party's most powerful figures at Westminster in Alex Salmond and the deputy leader, Angus Robertson, has greatly increased Davidson's influence inside the Conservative party at a United Kingdom level.

"And also we would use our influence to try and advance LGBT rights in Northern Ireland and they are the assurances that I got".

"I was probably the only unionist protestant who was marrying an Irish Catholic that they could find to advocate gay marriage", she said earlier. Scottish Tory leader Davidson's faction gained 12 seats north of the border, where usually the largest party behind the Scottish National Party is Labour.

The latest suggestion of Davidson feeling confident enough to deviate from the script is over the running of the election campaign in Scotland, where she chose to go with an anti-indyref2 message as opposed to the "strong and stable" line.

Scotland rejected independence by 55 percent in a 2014 referendum but the SNP went from strength to strength the following year. The Scottish Tories won all three Borders seats on Thursday. Davidson is the most prominent gay leader in the Conservatives, and she plans to marry her Roman Catholic partner, Jen Wilson. Davidson took a frontline role in David Cameron's remain campaign, on one occasion implying that Boris Johnson, now foreign secretary and leave campaigner, was a liar in a television debate.

She cemented her position in 2016 by leading the Conservatives to second place in the Scottish Parliament election, winning a quarter of the 129 seats in the Edinburgh-based legislature.

"I watched every single Conservative seat in Scotland fall, so I've waited a really long time for a comeback", she told AFP before the election.

  • Leroy Wright