THE Conservatives look too old and too white to win over voters in London and need to take a leaf out of the Scottish Tories’ book by showing “real differentiation” from the UK party, Ruth Davidson has insisted.

The Scottish party leader suggested Conservatives in the UK capital should make themselves more distinctive with a discrete manifesto and an election campaign led by Londoners, who reflected the diversity of the metropolis.

Writing in the London Evening Standard, the Edinburgh MSP said London and Scotland shared similarities: both had a different demographic from the Tory shires; they voted Remain in the EU referendum and devolution meant they made their own decisions in certain policy areas.

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“For me, this is crucial; the best people to know how to fight London’s local elections next year aren’t employed centrally to mastermind the party’s central message, they’re the activists, councillors and London MPs themselves.”

Ms Davidson argued that with a city that was more liberal and diverse, younger and more multi-cultural than the rest of the UK, the Tory message had to reflect the aspirations of Londoners.

“The message-carriers need to reflect those whose votes they are courting,” she declared, insisting simply trashing one’s opponents would not cut it.

“We also need to look and sound like the people we want to represent. While we do much better at this at community level, I would argue that, nationally, the Conservative Party still looks fairly old and very white.”

The Scottish Tory leader insisted that the party’s message in the May London elections must be crafted by and resolutely for Londoners.

“London Conservatives need to look more like London rather than be indistinguishable from the national brand, if they are to avoid defeat and succeed,” she added.