Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Wednesday, 25 July 2007 22:32 UK

Scottish Tory chairman quits post

Peter Duncan
Mr Duncan plans to campaign on the ground

The chairman of the Scottish Tories has resigned, months after a controversial party memo called for his removal.

Peter Duncan will be replaced on an interim basis by the party's only MP David Mundell, the man who drafted the critical internal document.

Mr Duncan, who was appointed party chairman in October 2004, was elected as a councillor in Dumfries and Galloway in May.

A new chairman of the party is expected to be announced shortly.

Mr Duncan said he would give his successor as chairman his "fullest support".

Electoral success

He said: "When I was re-appointed chairman by David Cameron, I made clear to him my absolute support for his determination to change the Conservative Party for the better and prepare us for winning the next general election.

"However, I also made clear that I wanted time from this summer onwards to campaign on the ground in Dumfries and Galloway.

"I will do everything I can from there to maximise our electoral success."

The memo, which lamented "the simple lack of thinkers" on the Tory benches at Holyrood, came to light when it was leaked to a newspaper in March.

The party said Mr Duncan had told UK leader David Cameron at that time of his intention to stand down in the summer.

Mr Mundell said the replacement of Mr Duncan as party chairman was "an immediate priority".

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