Ruth Davidson has paid tribute to David Mundell’s “exemplary” ministerial career after it was announced tonight that he is leaving government.
The Scottish Conservative leader also offered her full support to Alister Jack after he was named this evening as Mr Mundell’s successor.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:
"David's record of service at the Scotland Office - first as a minister in the coalition government, then as Secretary of State these last four years - has been exemplary.
"He has been a trusted advisor to two Prime Ministers, held his nerve during the independence referendum and faced down Nicola Sturgeon when she called for a re-run in 2017.
"He is passionate about opening doors for Scottish businesses in Whitehall and using the might of the UK government to promote them abroad, having led countless overseas trade delegations.
"While David chooses to conduct himself publicly in a typically understated manner, his strategic brain has been at the heart of the rebuilding project of the Scottish Conservatives.
“The party could not have enjoyed so many recent successes without his input, effort and ability to make Scotland's case to his government colleagues.
"On a personal level, David handled his coming out as the Conservatives' first openly gay cabinet minister with customary care and grace.
"David understands the power of the Scotland Office to promote the United Kingdom - and to defend Scotland's place in it.
“While I know today's announcement will allow him more time to spend in his beloved Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
On Alister Jack’s appointment, she added:
“In the two years he has been in Westminster, Alister has proven himself to be a strong advocate for Scotland’s key interests, and for our place in the United Kingdom.
“The Scotland Office has vital work to do over the coming months, both on Brexit and improving the way the UK government operates in Scotland.
“He has my full support in meeting that challenge and I know he will do a great job.”