Alex Salmond set to stand for seat in Westminster

Ex-First Minister of Scotland is expected to stand for election in Gordon constituency

Richard Osley
Saturday 06 December 2014 22:01

Former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond is expected to announce on Sunday that he will stand for a seat in the House of Commons at next May’s general election.

Still with an SNP rosette, Mr Salmond, who resigned as leader after failing to secure a ‘Yes’ vote in September’s Scottish independence referendum, is due to stand for election in Gordon.

The constituency in Aberdeenshire is currently held by the Liberal Democrats, although sitting MP Sir Malcolm Bruce is stepping down at the election. The SNP were second there in 2010.

Mr Salmond told The Observer newspaper that he would not support the Conservatives in a coalition after the election, should the opportunity arise.

“My preferred option would be to see Labour win but fall around 20 to 25 seats short of a working majority,” he said. “I would want the SNP to be able to force Labour to agree not to renew Trident in Scotland, devolve the setting of the minimum wage to Holyrood and agree to give Scotland some responsibility for its own immigration policy.”

He added that he knew “how to make the pips squeak” if a minority Conservative government was formed, vowing to demand concessions for SNP policies.

Mr Salmond was leader of the party for 20 years over two separate terms, and had been the First Minister of Scotland for seven years when he was replaced by new SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in October. He is no stranger to Westminster either, having represented Banff and Buchan from 1987 to the 2010 general election.

Mr Salmond was named Spectator magazine's Politician of the Year at a ceremony in London last week.

He said he was “honoured” to receive the award for a second time, having previously been recognised in 2011 after the SNP's landslide win in the Scottish elections.

He said: “This has been a momentous year for Scotland and, while the 'Yes' campaign may not have won in the referendum, there is no doubt that Scotland has been changed utterly. With the SNP now the third biggest party in the UK with more than twice as many members as the Lib Dems, and support for the party surging in the polls, there is a determination in Scotland to ensure that real progress is delivered.”

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