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Tory donor tips Ruth Davidson as future Prime Minister

Lord Harris of Peckham criticised Theresa May's leadership as 'hopeless'.

Leadership: Focus is 'on Holyrood.'
Leadership: Focus is 'on Holyrood.' PA

A major Tory donor has said Theresa May is a "hopeless" leader and tipped Ruth Davidson as a future Prime Minister.

Lord Harris of Peckham said the Prime Minister is "no Thatcher" and criticised her "shell-shocked" general election performance, in which the Tories disastrously lost their House of Commons majority.

In an interview with The Times, Lord Harris said Boris Johnson was "a genius" but "lazy", while Michael Gove has "no personality".

He said the Scottish Conservative leader should run for a seat in Westminster and would make a "great Prime Minister."

'She's clever as well as growing up on a council estate. I think she's top class.'
Lord Harris of Peckham

Lord Harris said: "She's very practical, very solid and won't give in.

"She's clever as well as growing up on a council estate. I think she's top class.

"They should get her in as an MP... see how she gets on working her way up and I think in three or four years' time she'd make a great prime minister."

A spokesman for Ms Davidson said: "Flattering though it is, Ruth's focus is on Holyrood. The job she really wants is to be next First Minister."

In his interview Lord Harris, a former Conservative deputy treasurer, said he was unsure if Theresa May could lead her ministers effectively. 

He said: "I thought for the first three or four weeks she did well.

"Then she did the election and she was hopeless. She's changed her mind too many times.

"I think she was shell-shocked but she's got to start making decisions, or someone has... Theresa May has got a great opportunity if she lets (her ministers) work and leads them.

"I don't know if she can lead them or not."

The peer's intervention comes with the Prime Minister continuing to face speculation about her future as Tory leader and with her party split on the biggest political issue of the day - Brexit.

Lord Harris  said: "Both sides don't know what they want at the moment or where they want to go.

"I'd much rather have a strong Labour government than a weak Conservative one and I'm a Conservative through and through.

"I wouldn't want Jeremy Corbyn but if you had Tony Blair when he first got in now he would be very good for this country."

He said Ms May's attacks on aspects of capitalism and big business were "stupid", and warned she was making a "mistake" by criticising excessive pay.

The Prime Minister last week insisted she is "not a quitter" and vowed to lead the Conservatives into the next general election.

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