DOUGLAS Ross and Ruth Davidson have insisted the SNP is "running out of steam" as they set out their joint ticket to lead the Scottish Conservatives. 

The Moray MP and former party leader said Scotland needs a "fresh start" and compared Nicola Sturgeon's administration to the "dead grip" of Labour before it lost power in 2007.

Writing in the Scottish Daily Mail, they said: "We have come together - one of us a former leader, and one now preparing to lead - to offer Scotland that vision of positive change for the future. 

"United in purpose, we want to take on the SNP and take Scotland forward."

Mr Ross and Ms Davidson said the coronavirus pandemic has shown "we must leave the old divisions behind us", adding: "We cannot go back to the politics of nationalism - of us v them."

They said Scotland needs a party "with a patriotic vision" and that would end the focus on the "grievance culture that so dominates Scotland's national life". 

They wrote: "We believe we have a lot to offer. Between us, we represent much of Scotland - one of us living in the Highlands, from an agricultural background; with a career in media. 

"We come from ordinary backgrounds, went to our local schools and supported our local communities. 

"We are passionate about wanting to see our young children grow up in a country which is optimistic, exciting and united in nature. 

"Nor, unlike most 'joint tickets', is there any rivalry between us: we know our roles as we think we can help each other."

Mr Ross is so far the only candidate to be the next Scottish Conservative leader following Jackson Carlaw's shock resignation last week. Nominations close tomorrow.

He has already asked Ms Davidson to handle First Minister's Questions until he finds a seat in Holyrood.

Ms Davidson is standing down as an MSP at the Holyrood election in May and is due to take up a seat in the House of Lords.

The pair said they share "a genuine belief, borne of experience, that SNP rule isn't as inevitable as some people feel, and that change at next year's Holyrood election is eminently achievable".

They added: "We abhor the sense of defeatism that has crept into some quarters and we want to show that the fight is there for the winning."