Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson announces pregnancy

The 39-year-old says she is expecting a baby in October after undergoing IVF treatment

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has announced that she is 13 weeks pregnant with her first child.

The 39-year-old said she and her partner, Jen Wilson, were delighted to be expecting a baby in October after undergoing IVF treatment.

Davidson said in a statement: “Like all new parents-to-be, we are excited and daunted about the months to come. Mostly, we are just overjoyed at the prospect of starting a family together.”

Politicians of all parties congratulated the couple on Twitter. Theresa May described it as wonderful news, and Scotland’s first minster, Nicola Sturgeon, joked: “The baby box is on the way”, a reference to the Scottish government’s scheme for new parents.

Davidson, who was recently named in a Time Magazine list of the world’s 100 most influential people, lives with Wilson in central Edinburgh. The pair got engaged in 2016, but delayed their wedding to pay for medical treatment after their dog was hit by a car.

Davidson reassured constituents and voters of her ongoing commitments to leading her party.

“While this news may be unexpected for many people, let me reassure my constituents and voters across Scotland that there is no change to my political commitment or plans to lead the Scottish Conservatives into the 2021 Holyrood elections,” she said.

“I’m simply doing what thousands of working women do every year: having a child, taking some time off, and then returning to work soon after.”

Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand who announced her own pregnancy in January, has displayed a similarly no-nonsense attitude. “I’m just pregnant, not incapacitated. Like everyone else who has found themselves pregnant before, I’m just keeping on going,” she said.

In an interview with the BBC, Davidson said: “I think that you’ve seen right across the world lots of women in politics who have made different choices. I don’t think that we should limit a woman’s choices by whether she had children or not. Her ability to do her job shouldn’t be impacted.”

She also said that she hoped her announcement would help to normalise the notion of same-sex couples having children together. “I think it’s important that people realise that this happens and it’s normal. Hopefully this takes some of the taboo or mystery away from it.”

Davidson’s deputy, Jackson Carlaw, will take her place while she is on maternity leave, although she admitted it was “highly likely I won’t be able to stay off the phone”.

Thanking her family and friends for their support during the early months of her pregnancy, Davidson said: “Jen and I are incredibly lucky in the support we have received from our family and friends over the past few months, and know we can rely on them in the months and years to come.

“We have always dreamed of starting a family and are so pleased to be able to share our happy news.”


Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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