Ruth Davidson admits she could stand for Westminster in future
Ruth Davidson has admitted that she would be willing to stand as an MP after she quits as Scottish Tory leader.
She said she would be ready to "start other conversations" when her time in the role comes to an end.
However, she insisted it could not happen before the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.
Ms Davidson made her comments - which are likely to be welcomed by pro-EU Conservative moderates - in an interview with The Spectator.
Asked what would happen if her party came third behind the SNP and Labour in four years' time, she said: "I’ve been leader of the party now for six years. My two predecessors lasted six-and-a-half years each.”
She said that by 2021 she will have been in place "significantly longer" than either of them and added: "Then we can start other conversations."
Ms Davidson, who has overseen a remarkable renaissance by the Scottish Conservatives during her time at the helm, said she had not ruled out standing for a Westminster seat.
"If devolution is going to work, then actually there has to be the ability to move between chambers and parliaments," she said.
Asked whether that would mean standing for a Scottish constituency, she said: "Yes."
Although she has long been tipped to eventually become an MP, it is the first time Ms Davidson has publicly admitted that she could end up at Westminster in the future.
She was elected Scottish Tory leader in 2011, at a time when her party trailed well behind the SNP and Labour.
Ms Davidson played a key role in the successful campaign to keep Scotland in the UK, and since then has helped mastermind a dramatic upturn in Scottish Conservative fortunes.
They overtook Labour to become the official opposition at Holyrood in 2016, and enjoyed a major breakthrough at the general election, with their number of MPs soaring from one to 13.