Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Monteith leaves Scottish Tories

Brian Monteith
Brian Monteith will remain in parliament as an independent

Brian Monteith has resigned from the Scottish Tories following controversy over his role in the departure of former leader David McLetchie.

He was accused of party disloyalty after he admitted plotting against Mr McLetchie, who quit last Monday.

Mr Monteith said he would remain at Holyrood as an independent until the next election.

Annabel Goldie, who was confirmed as party leader on Tuesday, said she would not tolerate further in-fighting.

The chairman of the Scottish Conservatives, Peter Duncan, said he hoped Mr Monteith's resignation would bring closure to the matter.

'Easy solution'

He added: "I hope we can now move on to holding the Scottish Executive to account, bringing forward an alternative vision for Scotland."

Mr Monteith, a list MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said he wanted to continue to represent people he had been helping locally and remain as the convener of the parliament's audit committee.

After seeking advice from management at the parliament about operating as an independent MSP, he said the easiest solution was to leave the party altogether.

You can't take Conservatism out of the boy but the boy can take himself out of the Conservative Party
Brian Monteith

"I think it would be in conflict to deprive the Conservative Party of membership of various committees or seats in the chamber, whilst I remain a member of the party," he said.

"I think the most important thing is what I believe rather than the membership card I have.

"You can't take Conservatism out of the boy but the boy can take himself out of the Conservative Party.

"I was given a four-year term. I'm going to see that four-year term out, advocating the sort of Conservative policies that might not be heard so frequently if I were not here."

SEE ALSO
Goldie 'ready to wield handbag'
08 Nov 05 |  Scotland
MSP 'takes blame' for disloyalty
05 Nov 05 |  Scotland
MSP quits Tory group after probe
04 Nov 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie resigns as Tory leader
31 Oct 05 |  Scotland
McLetchie 'reviews' taxi expenses
26 Oct 05 |  Scotland

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