Douglas Ross has officially launched his bid to become the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
The MP for Moray pledged to make the Tories a “strong opposition” to the SNP at a media event in Aberdeen.
Jackson Carlaw resigned as the Scottish Conservatives leader on Thursday after only six months in the job.
Former Tory leader Ruth Davidson said Mr Ross could be Scotland’s first “genuinely post-referendum leader” if elected by party members.
The Edinburgh Central MSP, who will take up a role in the House of Lords next year, will represent the Conservatives at First Ministers Questions until next year’s Holyrood election if Mr Ross is appointed the new leader.
Speaking at his campaign launch, Mr Ross said: “We will redeem our promise to be a strong opposition, holding the SNP to account on their handling of the pandemic and their record in government.”
Mr Ross said he wanted ensure “all parts of Scotland get a proper voice” and said it was time to decentralise power from the central belt.
Ms Davidson, who joined the Moray MP at his launch, said she is “proud and excited” to call him her boss.
She added: “I don’t want to labour the past, but I do know a bit about party leadership. And I know how tough it can be.
“I know it takes dedication, determination and 100% commitment to achieving your goals.
“Douglas has these qualities in spades.”
Only candidate so far
Douglas Ross officially became a leadership candidate after reaching the 100-nomination threshold required by Tory party rules to seek the top job.
Anyone wishing to stand against him in the contest will have to achieve the same by midnight on Wednesday, although the MP is currently the only person to have put their name forward to replace Mr Carlaw.
If he becomes leader, the Moray MP will stand for election as an MSP in next May’s Holyrood elections.