THE ONLY candidate in the running to become the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives has set out his vision to draw up a jobs plans within 30 days on securing the role.

Douglas Ross is the only candidate to launch a bid to replace Jackson Carlaw, who announced his shock resignation as Tory leader on Thursday, after less than six months in the job.

Mr Ross, who has secured the support of a host of Tory MSPs, has indicated he would “relish the challenge” of a leadership contest and has labelled the Scottish Government’s strategy to help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic as “totally inadequate”.

He has stressed that all political parties in Scotland must work to provide practical ideas to help out Scottish firms under threat from closure and struggling to stay afloat.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross secures backing of key Tory MSPs amid Scottish Conservative leadership bid

As leader, Mr Ross has committed to publish fresh ideas in his first month as leader on how the powers of devolution can be used to improve Scotland's infrastructure and support skills for workers.

His plan will also set out ways to further empower Scotland's cities, regions and communities and take power back from centralised control in Edinburgh.

He said: “It's clear that the pandemic is threatening our entire way of life.

“The UK Government has done its bit - its furlough scheme has protected millions of jobs and kept tens of thousands of businesses alive, but the SNP government's response has been totally inadequate.

“My message to Nicola Sturgeon is this - you aren't standing up for Scotland if you're not standing up for Scottish jobs, and the problem with her SNP government is that it just doesn't get it on the economy.

"The Scottish Conservatives do.”

He added: “So today I am committing to delivering a Scottish Conservative plan for jobs within the first month of my leadership to set out fresh ideas on how our government in Scotland can both protect jobs and chart a new path for growth.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross formally announces Scottish Conservative leadership bid

“We want to end the SNP power grab that has sucked up control to Edinburgh.

“We back new investment on infrastructure. And we will support a skills revolution so people out of work can get new jobs.

“Lives and livelihoods are on the line in this pandemic. My pledge as leader will be to protect both. The SNP government need to step up and do the same.”

Mr Ross has called for rival candidates to fight him for the job – stressing he would “relish a challenge”.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross would 'relish a challenge' for Scottish Conservative leadership

Speaking to Time Radio, he added: "I think a leadership election is an opportunity for our members to get involved in a robust and rigorous debate and the candidates to outline their policies that they would take forward.

“I would relish a challenge – I relish the challenge of standing up against Nicola Sturgeon and I relish the challenge of standing up within my party on the policies I want to take forward."