A lesbian woman has been selected by the Conservatives to fight the Glasgow North East by-election.

Ruth Davidson, 30, who lives with her partner in Partick, has pledged to fight an “honest campaign”.

The former BBC journalist will go head to head against her old colleague David Kerr, who is the Nationalist candidate.

Davidson said: “I am honoured to be the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Glasgow North East.

“I will begin by pledging to fight an honest campaign. Since the controversy over MPs’ expenses, people have lost trust in politics and as a result I think it is important to fight a campaign that engages people rather than turns them off politics. Chloe Smith signed this pledge in Norwich North and fought an honest campaign. I want to do the same.

“I may disagree with the other candidates on many issues from justice policies to the economy but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight a clean and honest campaign.

She has been welcomed by Tory leader David Cameron, who added: “Politics is about winning arguments, not smears and fears.”

The by-election is likely to be held in November. The seat will be vacated by Michael Martin, who was forced to step down as Speaker of the House of Commons following the expenses scandal.

Last month, research conducted by the ConservativeHome blog suggested that the number of openly gay Conservative MPs could treble at the next general election.

Currently, only Alan Duncan, the shadow leader of the House of Commons, shadow environment secretary Nick Herbert and Gregory Barker, the MP for Bexhill and Battle are openly gay.

However, the suggested that, if elected, the party may have another seven openly gay MPs.