Tory heavyweights including Mr Johnson have been discouraged from travelling to Scotland for the event, which begins today, with Scottish Tories keen for them not to take any limelight away from Ms Davidson. However, Environment Secretary Michael Gove will be present, along with Home Secretary Sajid Javid. The move comes after Ms Davidson appeared to downplay Mr Johnson’s chances of replacing Prime Minister Theresa May as Tory leader, pointing out that he “didn’t get across the start line” last time.
Ms Davidson has been a frequent critic of Brexiteer Mr Johnson.
Her decision to distance herself from him is likely to be motivated by the fact that Scotland backed Remain in the 2016 referendum by 62 percent to 38 percent.
Mr Johnson is now expected to make a campaigning visit to the city next week.
The Guardian cited “sources close to Davidson” as saying they did not want the event to turn into an unofficial leadership hustings when the focus should in fact be on Ms Davidson herself.
Ruth Davidson has banned Boris Johnson from the Scottish Tory conference (Image: GETTY)
There’s a lot of people want to appear at our conference
She justified the decision to allow Mr Gove and Mr Javid to attend by telling STV: “There’s a lot of people want to appear at our conference.”
Ms Davidson later told Northsound 1 radio station Mrs May had her “full support” and that there was no vacancy at present, with Mrs May having only so far “given a broad timetable for the point at which she will leave”.