The National:

RUTH Davidson will officially take her seat in the House of Lords today and become Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links.

The Baroness shot to the head of the Scottish Tories in 2011 after becoming an MSP earlier that year.

She stood down from the role in 2019 but later became the "Holyrood leader" of the party after her successor, Jackson Carlaw, resigned amid falling support for the party under his leadership.

Douglas Ross (then just an MP and linesman) was made head of the party in Scotland as Davidson did much of the leg work before stepping away.

The Baroness enters the Lords today, a place she says she would vote to scrap, so she could also become the shortest-serving member of the house.

Here are five more things the soon-to-be-Baroness would probably rather Scots forget:

Backing the rape clause

Back in 2017, the UK Government established reforms to the benefits system which included a limit to families claiming tax credits for their first two children.

One of the exemptions to the limit was the so-called "rape clause", which required women to prove that a child had been conceived through rape or during an abusive relationship to qualify for the benefit.

Widely condemned by politicians and campaigners, the clause was backed by Davidson as, in May 2017, she told STV's Scotland Tonight: “The system which is in place does not require some of the things that people have said it does.

“It does not require women to fill out a multi-page form; it is about making sure a third party that does it for them.

“All they have got to do is tick a box and put their name on it.”

Her comments were met with outrage as other parties described them as "demonstrably false", "sickening" and unacceptable".


READ MORE: Outrage as 1330 women had to reveal rape details to claim child tax credits

SNP MP Alison Thewliss (above), who led her party's opposition of the clause in Westminster, told Davidson that she was not correct with the need for a woman to describe the incident leading to the risk of "re-traumatising the woman".

She added that "Davidson was deliberately misleading people about the appalling consequences of the Tory two-child cap and rape clause". 

Brian Taylor calls her 'Baroness'

The National: Brian Taylor

Last year, Davidson was referred to as what will become her official title today by then BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor.

Davidson was reportedly "furious" that Taylor called her "Baroness" during a broadcast about the change of Scottish Tory leadership in August. The peerage was announced in July.

Davidson then reportedly ordered the BBC not to do it again ... and hasn't been called Baroness on the BBC since. 

READ MORE: Baroness Davidson ‘cannot duck scrutiny’ as she bids to silence BBC

A Tory insider told the Herald that the title was “not the image" the party wanted in the lead up to the Holyrood election in May. We do wonder whether the image they now have is much better ...

As the story of the Baroness's tantrum spread, former Holyrood presiding officer Tricia Marwick, who revealed in 2016 that she had declined to have her name put forward to be recognised in the honours list, tweeted her criticism.

She wrote: “Simple. If you don’t want to be referred to by your title then you should refuse to accept one. Some of us did.”

Taking over at FMQs causes laughter

Ruth Davidson returned to lead the Tories at FMQs after Jackson Carlaw was ousted from the role and Douglas Ross took it up in August of 2020.

Since Ross wasn't an MSP yet, Davidson took over questioning First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and did not get off to a good start in her first showing back.

"Dismal failure" and "poor performance" were phrases used to describe Davidson's performance as she was met with laughter from the Holyrood Chamber while speaking about "loyalty" to colleagues – with one of her own just ousted from his job.

READ MORE: 'Clearly rattled': Twitter reacts to Ruth Davidson's FMQs return

Sturgeon handed Davidson her "ermine robes" and sent her packing when she said: "[If] Ruth Davidson wants to have this kind of exchange, she really should think about the position from which she seeks to do it. Because in just a few months I will submit myself and my government to the verdict of the Scottish people in an election.

"That is the ultimate accountability for a record and our leadership.

"As we do that, Ruth Davidson will be pulling on her ermine and going to the unelected House of Lords. So can I gently suggest to Ruth Davidson that when it comes to holding to account and scrutinising politicians, she's really not coming at this from a position of strength, because it is not me that is running away from democratic accountability."

Ouch ...

'Vile' remarks about Nicola Sturgeon

Ahead of the Holyrood election in May (where the Tories gained a grand total of zero seats), the Tories turned on their own form of a charm offensive.

In March of this year, accusations of Sturgeon breaking the ministerial code in relation to her dealings with former FM Alex Salmond and the handling of harassment complaints.

It was a murky time in Scottish politics, but Sturgeon defended herself against what she described as "conspiracy theories" circulating about her from Salmond and Tory MP David Davis as "the epitome of the Old Boys’ Club" in politics.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson slammed for 'vile' claims about Nicola Sturgeon on Sky News

Davidson dived into the whole affair with glee, telling Sky News that the FM was "probably the head girl of the Old Boys’ Club that surrounds Alex Salmond" due to being his deputy.

The comment was shared proudly by the Scottish Tories on twitter, but people were quick to point out the sexism of the Baroness's "vile" comments.

What constitutes an indyref2 mandate?

And finally, we come to a clip of Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links setting out what she believes to be a mandate for independence.

In 2007, when Davidson was working as a journalist for the BBC and before her parliamentary career kicked off, she said that you have to "earn" a referendum. 

How prophetic...

As she was downplaying the mandate given by the Scottish people to MSPs at Holyrood when a pro-independence majority of the SNP and Scottish Greens were voted in, the clip resurfaced and left the Baroness a beamer.

In the footage, the former MSP says “you don’t get a referendum for free, you have to earn it”.

READ MORE: Old Ruth Davidson clip on indyref mandates comes back to haunt her

"So if the Greens and the SNP and the SSP, or any of the other parties who have declared an interest in independence, get it over the line and can make a coalition, make a majority, get the votes in the Parliament, then they'll vote through a referendum," she adds. “That’s what democracy is all about.”

Did we miss any moments that the Baroness would rather we forgot? Let us know in the comments.