RUTH Davidson has formally resigned as Scottish Tory leader after eight years citing the toll on her personal life and a “dread” of campaigning in more elections with a young son.

The prominent Remainer said she had never hidden the “conflict” she felt over Brexit, but insisted her departure was not driven by Boris Johnson or his suspension of parliament.

She said she had recently met the Prime Minister, looked him in the eye and he had “categorically” assured her that he was trying to get a deal with the EU by October 31.

She urged other MPs to get behind his effort and pass a deal, saying the Queen’s speech on October 14 was a chance to revive Theresa May’s previously defeated plan.

She said her party's defendce of the Union in the 2014 referendum was "the most important contribution of my working life and, I believe, will remain so."

READ MORE:  Alister Jack hails ‘inspirational and transformational’ Ruth Davidson

At a half-hour press conference near the Scottish Parliament she said the arrival of her first child, Finn, last October had caused her to rethink her priorities.

She said: “As I look to the future, I see the Scottish Election due in 2021 and a credible threat from our opponents to force a general election before then. 

“Having led our party through seven national elections and two referenda, I know the efforts, hours and travel required to fight such campaigns successfully. 

“I have to be honest that where the idea of getting on the road to fight two elections in 20 months would once have fired me up, the threat of spending hundreds of hours away from my home and family now fills me with dread. That is no way to lead.

“Additionally, I fear that having tried to be a good leader over the years, I have proved a poor daughter, sister, partner and friend. 

“The party and my work has always come first, often at the expense of commitments to loved ones. The arrival of my son means I now make a different choice.”

”I will continue to support the party, the Prime Minister and Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom from the backbenches and beyond.”

By appealing for consensus in the House of Commons and support for a deal, she also confirmed her opposition to crashing out of the EU without a deal on Hallowe’en.

She said: “To colleagues who want to avoid no deal: vote for a deal. 

“You’ve had three opportunities, you blew every one of them, don’t blow a fourth. 

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson confirms her resignation as Scottish Conservative leader 

“I know the prime minister is seeking to get a deal. I’ve had long conversations with him on this point. And I believe him when he says that he’s seeking to get a deal. 

“Please, make it clear now that if a deal comes back to the House of Commons, you will vote for it - and let the EU hear you say that you will vote for it so that they understand that there is a reason for them to reopen negotiations.

“If the Prime Minister brings a deal back to the House of Commons as I know he is trying to do, for God’s sake, get behind it and this time at the fourth time of asking vote for it.

“I stand absolutely foursquare behind the Prime Minister’s attempts to bring back a deal that can pass in the House of Commons.”

One of Mr Johnson toughest critics during the EU referendum, Ms Davidson pulled her punches in favour of more subtle pressure to push him towards a deal with the EU.

Effectively daring Mr Johnson to break his word to her and thereby expose himself as a liar, she said: “There has been a lot that’s been written about my relationship with the Prime Minister. I went to Downing Street to meet him last week in a private meeting. 

“I stared him right in the eye. I asked him: ‘I need to know are you actually trying to get a deal or not?’ And he categorically assured me that he was. 

“He believes that his efforts in Biarritz [at the G7] has helped open the door a crack.

“ I know that what would help further would be for people who want to avoid no-deal, to come out and say that if a deal is brought back to Parliament, that they would back, in the way that they have failed to do three times already. So I want him to get that deal. I believe that’s what he and his government are working towards. And I support him in those efforts.”

Ms Davidson told close colleagues of her plan to resign on the day of the European elections in May, shortly after she returned to frontline politics following six months maternity leave.

The 40-year-old will remain the MSP for Edinburgh Central until at least the 2021 election.

However her spokesman said she had yet to decide whether to stand for re-election.

Her predecessor as Scottish Tory leader, Annabel Goldie, is now in the House of Lords.

The Scottish Tory party management board will convene tonight to decide on the timing of a leadership contest.

Deputy Tory leader Jackson Carlaw becomes acting leader with immediate effect.

In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “On behalf of everyone in the Conservative and Unionist Party, I want to thank Ruth for her wonderful service over the last eight years.

“She has dedicated so much time and energy to the role and has been instrumental in the revival of our electoral fortunes in Scotland.

“She should take immeasurable pride in the pivotal role she played during the Scottish independence referendum campaign, where her passionate support for our Union was crucial to the result.

“I will miss the incredible leadership she has given to our Party in Scotland, but I am delighted that she will continue to use her enthusiasm, passion and dedication to make the case for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom from the backbenches and beyond.

“I wish Ruth, Jen and Finn all the best for the future.”

Nicola Sturgeon wished Ms Davidson well for the future, and acknowledged the toll that politics can take on a person's private life. 

However she added: "I think there are political factors in her decision as well.

"It’s been an open secret she’s has had many and deep disagreements with Boris Johnson and the direction he’s taken the Conservative party and indeed in the Uk in.

“And I guess that does beg a question - if the Scottish Tory leader can’t reconcile herself to this Prime Minister and what he wants to do for the country, then why should the rest of Scotland have to do?”

In her formal resignation letter to Scottish Tory chairman Rab Foreman, Ms Davidson said the leading the party had been “the privilege of my life”, and that she was proud of the party’s electoral advances at Holyrood, Westminster and councils.

In her resignation speech she added: “But, for me, electoral successes - while undoubtedly important - pale in significance compared to the vital role our party undertook as part of the campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom at the independence referendum. 

“It was - without doubt - the most important contribution of my working life and, I believe, will remain so.

“It is therefore with a heavy heart that this morning I wrote to the Chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party to tender my resignation.

“I explained the changes - both professional and personal - that have prompted this decision.

“You all know - and I have never sought to hide - the conflict I have felt over Brexit. 

“Despite that conflict, I have attempted to chart a course for our party which recognises and respects the referendum result, while seeking to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks for key Scottish businesses and sectors.  

“The biggest change, however, has been starting a family.”