SNP MEP Alyn Smith selected to fight Stirling seat at general election
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has been selected as the party’s candidate for Stirling at the next general election.
The SNP won Stirling from Labour in 2015 but lost it to the Conservatives in 2017.
The party will be looking to take it back from current Tory MP Stephen Kerr, who has a majority of just 148 – the smallest Conservative majority in Scotland.
If elected, Smith has said he will stand down as MEP, but if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, he would cease to be an MEP from that date anyway.
Smith said: “Stirling is the jewel in Scotland’s crown, and Stirling constituency is the heart of Scotland.
“I want to make it the heart of Scotland’s politics too, not east nor west, nor Highland or Central Belt.
“To win Scotland we must win Stirling. It will be a tough debate but I’m up for it.
“Deciding to put myself forward for Westminster and so leaving the European Parliament has been a tough decision, but I want to be where the fight is, and the fight we need to win is not in Brussels or Edinburgh.
“Scotland faces being dragged out of the EU against our will, by Westminster.
“We’ll turn that argument around at Westminster by having fewer Tories. I know the EU inside out, I’ll go through them.
“I’ve already hit the ground running.
“Having an office here as well as representing Stirling along with the rest of Scotland in the European Parliament for 15 years I already have good connections, which I look forward to building up and uniting the pro-EU majority behind my candidacy.”
Smith is currently Scotland’s longest serving MEP, having represented Scotland since 2004.
He is also president of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament and first vice president of the European Green Group.