RUTH Davidson says she is "proud and excited" to call Douglas Ross her boss, as the Moray MP launches his campaign for the Scottish Conservative leadership.

At an event in Aberdeen, he said he had enough nominations from party members to formally begin his candidacy.

Davidson, who resigned as the Scottish Tory leader last August amid Boris Johnson's proroguing Parliament row, is poised for a return to frontline politics as Ross hopes she will front the party at First Minister's Questions.

Davidson, who is due to join the House of Lords when she steps down from the Scottish Parliament next year, spoke at the launch event in Aberdeen.

READ MORE: How Douglas Ross voted on the NHS, Brexit, devolution and more

Referring to his role as a football referee, she said: "Like the dozens of centre forwards that he's flagged offside down the years, I soon realised that challenging him - I was never going to win."

Davidson added: "I don't want to labour the past but I do know a bit about party leadership. And I know how tough it can be.

"I know it takes dedication, determination, hard graft and 100% commitment to achieving your goals.

"Plus the strength of character to take the blows to brush yourself off to stick to the course.

"Douglas has these qualities in spades."

She continued: "I'm not coming back as the leader of the Scottish Conservative party.

"I'm very, very happy, proud and excited to call Douglas Ross my boss."

Asked about calls for a second independence referendum, Ross said: "We had that debate.

"We had that vote six years ago and we were told it was a once in a generation event.

"What I want to do is leave that in the past."

Nominations for the post of Scottish Conservative leader will close at noon on August 5, the party has confirmed.

So far no-one besides Ross has declared they will run to replace Jackson Carlaw, who announced his resignation on Thursday.