THE frontrunner to lead the Scottish Conservatives has been endorsed by all five Tory leaders on Scotland’s councils.

Jackson Carlaw, who officially launches his campaign tomorrow, was backed by James Gifford of Aberdeenshire, Douglas Lumsden of Aberdeen, Andrew Polson of East Dunbartonshire and Murray Lyle of Perth & Kinross Council.

He was also endorsed by Shona Haslam, the leader of Scottish Borders - a blow to Mr Jackson’s rival, Michelle Ballantyne, who was previously a Scottish Borders councillor.

Speaking for the five, Ms Haslam said: “

Jackson’s record of holding the SNP to account at Holyrood, commitment to blue collar conservatism, and dedication to bringing new ideas into our party make him the clear choice.”

Mr Jackson, who has also been backed by most Tory MSPs to replace Ruth Davidson, said: “We need to look not just to the 2021 Holyrood elections, but the 2022 council election.

Councils across Scotland know how important it is to present a legitimate alternative to SNP mismanagement.

“I look forward to working with them, and all Scottish Conservative colleagues, if I am entrusted with the leadership of our party.”

Ms Ballantyne, who is not yet backed by an MSP, said she could reach people who had never voted Tory.