A Tory backbencher has suggested that the Scottish Conservatives should, in light of Holyrood gaining more powers, seriously consider separating from the UK Tories completely and become a fully autonomous party, fighting a "separate fight for the Union" north of the border.


The view from John Stevenson, a Scot who represents Carlisle, echoes similar views from Labour politicians in respect of Scottish Labour. Andy Burnham, the frontrunner to succeed Ed Miliband as his party's leader, has made clear there "is a case" for Labour in Scotland to become a completely discrete entity; a view opposed by his colleague and rival for the leadership Liz Kendall.

But now the idea of the Scottish Conservatives breaking away from their fellow Unionists south of the border has been mooted by Mr Stevenson.

Writing on the Conservativehome website, the Aberdonian says: "I maintain that if we are to build on the success of this election, there remain three parts of the country we must target. These are - cities, the North, and Scotland.

"And since the last election, the truth is that we have made little electoral progress in these areas. The good news is that we are now in a much better position to make some real headway in these places."

In terms of urban seats, Mr Stevenson argues that the image of the Tories is changing for the better while in northern England the idea of a northern powerhouse is beginning to gain traction.

But he goes on: "As for Scotland, to a large extent the normal rules of politics have changed up there. Again, this provides us with a huge opportunity.

"There is a clear need for an appealing centre right party in Scotland. Ruth Davidson had a great referendum campaign and performed fantastically in the Scottish leadership debates not by attacking her opponents or pretending to be something she wasn't but by proudly defending and espousing Conservative Party policies."

He adds: "This has given us a good platform to kick-on from for the Scottish Parliament elections but with the inevitable transfer of further powers from Westminster, the Scottish Conservative Party has to seriously begin to think about the idea of separating completely from the national party and becoming an autonomous organisation; continuing a separate fight for the Union and Conservative values north of the border."