NICOLA Sturgeon has paid tribute to Jackson Carlaw following his resignation as leader of the Scottish Conservatives after only six months in the role.

The First Minister wrote on Twitter: “I wish Jackson Carlaw all the best. We’ve crossed swords politically on many occasions, but worked constructively on some issues too – he has, eg, been a strong voice for women suffering mesh complications.

“Leadership is a tough business and I’m sure his decision wasn’t easy.”

READ MORE: Jackson Carlaw resigns as leader of the Scottish Conservatives

Tory MP Douglas Ross is expected to take on the role.

It has been reported that Ruth Davidson and John Lamont are backing Ross to take on the role.

Ross resigned from the Scotland Office in June in protest over Boris Johnson’s refusal to sack senior adviser Dominic Cummings.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross rumoured to take over as Jackson Carlaw quits

In a statement, Carlaw said: "Over the summer I have had the chance to think hard about my role as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

"Nothing is more important to me than making the case for Scotland's place in the United Kingdom.

“I believe the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party is the most important voice in Scotland for setting out that positive argument. I am clear that nothing must get in the way of doing so.

"In the last few weeks, I have reached a simple if painful conclusion – that I am not, in the present circumstances, the person best placed to lead that case over these next vital months in Scottish politics prior to the Holyrood elections. Given the importance I attach to the job, I've therefore decided to stand down with immediate effect."

READ MORE: This is Boris Johnson's response to Jackson Carlaw quitting