Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson resigned on Thursday after eight years in her job, citing UK prime minister Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament and an imbalance between her work and home life.
She wrote: “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.”
It has been the privilege of my life to serve as @ScotTories leader. This morning I wrote to the Scottish party chairman to tender my resignation. pic.twitter.com/CJ9EjW2RqN— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) August 29, 2019
Both current and former Prime Ministers shared their thoughts on Ms Davidson on Twitter, with Boris Johnson thanking her for her service and praising her for helping to revive the Conservative Party's "electoral fortunes" in Scotland.
Former PM Theresa May thanked Ms Davidson for her eight years of service and said on Twitter that she should enjoy her "well-deserved family time" with longtime partner Jen Wilson.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) August 29, 2019
Ruth Davidson's Work With 'Better Together' Campaign, Opposition to Mr Johnson's No-Brexit Push
Ms Davidson was a staunch advocate of remaining in the European Union during the 2016 referendum, placing her in opposition to Mr Johnson's Vote Leave campaign. She also supported Sajid Javid during the Conservative leadership contest, adding that after the PM was installed, she would not back him if he pursued a no-deal Brexit.
She said in late July that she had hoped "beyond measure" that the new Prime Minister was "successful in getting an agreement with the EU so he can go back to the House of Commons and get the majority backing he needs".
She added: "I don't think the Government should pursue a no deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won't support it.
Lord Young Resigns In Protest of Parliamentary Suspension
The news follows Lord George Young's resignation on Thursday in protest of PM Johnson's prorogation, stating it risked undermining parliament at a critical time in the country's moment in history.
The upper house's chief whip wrote in a letter addressed to the House of Lords that he had become very unhappy over the timing and length of Mr Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament in favour of a Queen's Speech on 14 October, just days before the 31 October Brexit deadline.
Lord Young wrote: "I have been unpersuaded by the reasons given for that decision, which I believe risks undermining the fundamental role of Parliament at a critical time in our history, and reinforces the view that the Government may not have the confidence of the House for its Brexit policy.
Lord Young resignation letter.... pic.twitter.com/BdnmgtOFK9— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) August 29, 2019
Ms Davidson's resignation has been seen as a major defeat to the UK government's campaign to have Scotland remain in the UK, British media reported on Thursday. Her work led to the successful Better Together campaign in 2014, which argued that Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom following Edinburgh's Scottish referendum, but calls by top Scottish National Party leaders to launch a second independence vote could gain an extra boost from her departure.
The developments come as the British Prime minister struggles to maintain a majority in Parliament as opposition parties have formed a loose coalition in order to block a no-deal Brexit. But Mr Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday to suspend Parliament, with his request being granted later in the day, sparking outrage in Commons and prompting over 160 lawmakers to sign the "Church House Declaration" vowing to block efforts to hinder Parliament's ability to meet.
The UK was expected to leave the European Union by 29 March, but Commons has voted down former UK prime minister Theresa May's Brexit draft plan agreed upon with Brussels, forcing the country to delay withdrawing from the EU from until 31 October. Boris Johnson has vowed to have the UK leave the EU by the October deadline "come what may", but reiterated that he would prefer an orderly Brexit process and pledged not to allow the EU's backstop to place a hard border to appear between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.