Ruth Davidson given DUP gay rights assurance

Theresa May and Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party leader Ruth Davidson speak during a general election campaign visit to a removals depot in Edinburgh Scotland

Ms May, whose party lost its majority at Westminster in Thursday's general election, says she will put together a minority government with the support of the DUP to guide the United Kingdom through crucial Brexit talks.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "The reality is that the party in Scotland already has autonomy and has done for the last few years".

"Folk might remember I fought a leadership election on the other side of that particular argument".

Ms Davidson has said she has received assurances from the Prime Minister over gay rights should the Tories do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, and has urged Mrs May to put the economy first by pursuing an "open" Brexit.

Asked if Scottish Tories would push for a softer line on Brexit, he said: "I think we can have a tremendous amount of leverage".

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The Scottish Daily Telegraph's Alan Cochrane said: "The story was impeccably sourced and I stand by every word".

Davidson was elected to lead the party north of the border in 2011 after her main rival in the contest, Murdo Fraser, called for the Scottish Conservatives to disband and form a new, separate centre-right party.

Speaking at her Bute House residence in Edinburgh about her referendum demand, Ms Sturgeon said: "We will reflect on these results, we will listen to voters and we will consider very carefully the best way forward for Scotland, a way forward that is in the interests of all Scotland".

The DUP opposes same-sex marriage and Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where it is not legal.

Davidson, who gained 13 seats in Scotland for the conservative party, is an out-lesbian.

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"If we are going to build a society that is fair, decent and safe we have to be tolerant and fundamentally that is about individuals being able to prosper in a free society - not just financially but socially, intellectually and culturally", he said.

It opposes same-sex marriage and is anti-abortion - with abortion remaining illegal in Northern Ireland, except in specific medical cases.

"I was fairly straightforward with her and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than party".

"One of them is country, one of the others is LGBTI rights".

Her comments have been interpreted as a warning to May that Scottish Tory MPs could withdraw their support for the government if it continues to push for a hard Brexit.

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