BOOK FESTIVAL – Ruth Davidson on pregnancy vs Brexit and world class women


SCOT Tory Leader Ruth Davidson talked Boris, her wishful pregnancy vs Brexit schedule, and her previous career in journalism with a crowd at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Tuesday (13thAug).

Image supplied by Edinburgh International Book Festival

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Leader said that she thought she’d planned her pregnancy perfectly but was left frustrated when leaving the EU was delayed.

Ruth was in conversation with British Olympian Katherine Grainger at the EIBF, discussing her book Yes She Can, which tells the story of her own life and discusses the women who she finds inspiration in.

The Scot Tory revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the woman she personally admired most at the moment.

During a Q&A session with the audience she was unable to escape the question of her opinion of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister.

She gave a very well received answer, but gave little away.

Having spoken previously about her days in the Territorial Army, she simply said: “Salute the rank, not the person that bears it”.

When speaking about her pregnancy and her son, she said: “I thought I’d timed my pregnancy perfectly, the issue of Brexit would be resolved by September and [the baby] due in November”.

What she did not anticipate was the severe turbulence that would occur in British politics when it did not quite work out that way, which was extremely frustrating for her as she “couldn’t make public pronouncements”.

She also spoke of her previous career in journalism, saying she chose the profession as she is “passionate about telling people stories”.

One of the biggest events to take place during her career was the Glasgow Airport terror attack. As tragic as this event was, she claimed that these events are what makes being a journalist interesting.

Something else that drove her to join a local newspaper in Fife after her university education was her determination to “not be afraid of things” and “not wanting to let people down”.

When discussing her move to Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, taking over from predecessor Annabel Goldie, she described that she had “no experience” in such a big leadership role.

Her strong attitude meant that the challenge she faced were not too daunting but when she was asked if she “has it all”, she responded: “I don’t think you can ever truly have it all”.

Ruth was very humble and repeated that she “is the least interesting person in this book”.

When asked which woman she admires most at present, Ruth responded “Angela Merkel… she is astonishing” and “has transformed Germany… and the European Union.”

Writing Yes She Can gave her mind an occupation during her maternity leave and also the opportunity to return to journalism and impartiality, saying she was “not writing this with a Tory hat on”, and instead focussed on the great achievements of the women she wrote about.

In Ruth Davidson’s Yes She Can the author interviews Martha Lane Fox, Rola Hallam, Frances O’Grady, Laura Kuenssberg, Lorna Hood, Maria Bello, Melinda Gates, Tina Brown, Seema Rao, Theresa May, Sheila Marcelo, Ruth Ibegbuna, Katherine Grainger, Gemma Fay, Sue Black, Sandi Toksvig and Kerry Kennedy.

Yes She Can is available to buy now.