Candidates for Airdie and Shotts by-election confirmed
Eight candidates are standing to be the next MP for Airdrie and Shotts.
Anum Qaisar (SNP), Kenneth Stevenson (Labour), Ben Callaghan, (Conservative), Stephen Arrundale (Lib Dem), Martyn Greene (Reform UK), Jon Stanley (Scottish Unionists), Donald Murdo MacKay (UKIP) and Neil Manson (Social Democratic Party Scotland) will all appear on the ballot.
The by-election was caused by the resignation of SNP MP Neil Gray, who stepped down from Westminster to contest the corresponding seat in the Scottish Parliament election.
Following a recent change to internal party rules, any SNP candidate who wishes to stand for Holyrood must not already be an elected representative for the party.
The change had previously blocked Joanna Cherry MP from seeking the nomination for Edinburgh Central.
The by-election is set to be held in the North Lanarkshire area on Thursday 13 May.
This is the week after the Scottish Parliament election to ensure social distancing and other public health measures can be observed.
Airdrie and Shotts has been held by Gray since 2015, having previously been a Labour seat.
Labour came close to winning the seat back in 2017 (the SNP won with a majority of just 195 votes), but the SNP increased its majority to over 5,000 in 2019.
The corresponding Scottish Parliament seat has been held by the SNP’s Alex Neil since 2011, having previously been Labour since 1999.
Neil announced he would not seek re-election in August last year.
Gray is standing against Scottish Labour’s former leader Richard Leonard, Conservative Ross Lambie, Lib Dem John Cole and independent Jimmy Dowson.