Right-winger Liz Truss congratulated MSP Murdo Fraser after he mounted a leadership campaign based on a breakaway more than a decade ago.
A new centre-right party north of the Border is again being discussed at senior levels - if Boris Johnson clings on as PM.
Truss, now Foreign Secretary, was supported by Tory members to be the next leader in a recent survey by the Conservative Home website. She and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are expected to go head-to-head in any contest.
The Record can reveal she was enthusiastic about a controversial campaign in 2011 for the Scottish Tories to effectively set up a new party.
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