Female politicians should be ‘a bit punchy’, says Ruth Davidson

Written by David Singleton on 4 October 2016 in Diary

The Scottish Tory leader has also dropped her biggest hint yet that she will one day become an MP.

Ruth Davidson has opened up about the pressures of being a woman in politics and said that leading female politicians have a duty to fight back against sexist media coverage.

Speaking at a fringe event at Conservative party conference, the Scottish Conservative leader suggested that constant criticism sometimes made her want to cry – or to kick a wall.

“You get unbelievable amounts of abuse on social media, you get judged in so many ways, you have your motives dissected by people all of the time.

“And you do have to have that part of yourself that you can shut your door on, have a wee cry if you need a wee cry, or get a hug if you need to have a hug or kick the wall if you need to kick the wall.

"Sometimes you do feel as if you’re having to give too much.”

Asked about the media's treatment of female politicians, Davidson took aim at the Sunday Times for recently publishing a list of childless politicians that only featured women.

“Apparently men are not childless politicians,” she said, to loud cheers.

Davidson added: “I did have a bit of a whack at the Sunday Times for that one and to be fair I think they had a reassessment and acknowledged that it was a bit crass.

“But sometimes you do have to be a bit punchy like that. And I think there is a duty on all of us to make it easier for those that come behind.”

“So yeah it’s not fair, yeah it’s really annoying and yeah you will have to answer questions about it. But every time you do, and you do in a dignified manner, then you demonstrate that you can have the life that you choose… and you make it easier for the next person.”

Davidson’s comments about sexist media coverage came as she dropped her biggest hint yet that she will one day leave the Scottish Parliament to become an MP.

The Scottish Tory leader has consistently denied that she has ambitions to be an MP one day. But asked whether she wanted to be part of Theresa May's cabinet, she left the door open to one day leaving Holyrood for the Commons.

She said: "As delighted as I am to have a standing invitation to political cabinet, I'll be staying out of Her Majesty's government's cabinet for some time because I've got a job to do in Holyrood and I intend to do it."



Picture by: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images.

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