Former SNP MP attempts comeback

The selections were announced on Thursday.

Craig Paton
Thursday 26 October 2023 16:39 BST
Professor Stephen Gethins (Niall Carson/PA)
Professor Stephen Gethins (Niall Carson/PA)

Former SNP MP Professor Stephen Gethins is looking to mount a political comeback after winning selection as a candidate for a Westminster seat.

The party announced a new raft of candidates ahead of the next general election – expected next year – including Prof Gethins, who lost the North East Fife constituency in 2019 to Liberal Democrat Wendy Chamberlain.

He will contest the Arbroath and Broughty Ferry seat, which has been held since 2005 by retiring SNP MP – and former deputy leader – Stewart Hosie.

Currently teaching at St Andrews University, Prof Gethins beat out Angus councillor – and Mr Hosie’s wife – Serena Cowdy for the seat.

Elsewhere, Councillor Jacqueline Cameron – the deputy leader of Renfrewshire Council – was chosen to succeed current SNP Westminster deputy leader Mhairi Black when she stands down at the next poll.

Reports earlier this year suggested Ms Black had threatened to quit had a member of her staff – Robert Innes – not passed candidate vetting in order to replace her.

Mr Innes – also a Renfrewshire councillor – subsequently lost out to Ms Cameron.

Former party policy development convener Toni Giugliano has also been selected to stand in the Falkirk seat, which is being vacated by the retiring John McNally.

Mr Giugliano beat out two local councillors and Michael Sturrock, a staff member of Scottish Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson for the seat.

He also has experience of parliamentary campaigns, having sought to unseat Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie in her Dumbarton constituency in 2021, losing by almost 1,500 votes.

A total of eight selections were announced on Thursday, with Lucy Beattie chosen to contest the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross seat – currently occupied by former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford – Annie McIndoe fighting the Central Ayrshire constituency and Brian Goodall selected in Dunfermline and Dollar.

John Beare will look to win Glenrothes and Mid Fife and Ross Clark will be the candidate in Hamilton and Clyde Valley.

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