RUTH DAVIDSON: I was determined not to let becoming a mother end my ...

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() In truth, my resignation had been a long time coming. A colleague who knew I’d become a bit fed up before I had baby Finn had suggested that I use my maternity leave to decide whether I wanted to come back at all.

I just about ripped his head off.

There was no way I was going to throw women under a bus by suggesting that the mere fact of having a baby meant someone could no longer do their job.

Of course I would come back. There was no way I was going to set the precedent – as the first UK political leader to give birth in office – that babies meant automatically giving up the job.

And in April, it was a case of coming back with a bang. With a party conference in Aberdeen followed by the European elections, my first ‘week’ back was actually 19 days straight before I had a day off.

In truth, my resignation had been a long time coming. A colleague who knew I’d become a bit fed up before I had baby Finn had suggested that I use my maternity leave to decide whether I wanted to come back at all. I just about ripped his head off

In truth, my resignation had been a long time coming. A colleague who knew I’d become a bit fed up before I had baby Finn had suggested that I use my maternity leave to decide whether I wanted to come back at all. I just about ripped his head off

That was followed by another 12-day ‘week’. This is not an appeal for sympathy, it’s just the job. But, my word, it is hard on our families.

Politics hadn’t become any more straightforward during my absence either. The plan had been to see Brexit through and then go off on maternity leave but Brexit has become only ever more complicated. And it is an issue over which I am genuinely conflicted, which makes it hard to provide clear-sighted leadership.

I campaigned for Remain, but I believe in the importance of losers’ consent and have tried at all times to recognise and respect the referendum decision to leave the EU.

That’s not a blank cheque for any kind of Brexit, particularly not one which causes economic shock to the country. That conflict absolutely affected my ability to lead.

Add in the genuine dread at the idea of two Election campaigns in 20 months, prompting hundreds of hours on the road away from my young family, and I had to be honest with myself that my time was up. I made the final decision to go on Monday and told my close team.

We realised that there was a lot to do before making a public announcement on Thursday.

The plan had been to see Brexit through and then go off on maternity leave but Brexit has become only ever more complicated. And it is an issue over which I am genuinely conflicted, which makes it hard to provide clear-sighted leadership. Pictured: Former Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson (right) with wife Jen

The plan had been to see Brexit through and then go off on maternity leave but Brexit has become only ever more complicated. And it is an issue over which I am genuinely conflicted, which makes it hard to provide clear-sighted leadership. Pictured: Former Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson (right) with wife Jen

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