Featured image credit: glasgowlive.co.uk
Member of the European Parliament, Alyn Smith, has been selected as the SNP candidate for the next General Election.
He is Scotland’s longest serving MEP, group leader of the SNP Group, president of the European Free Alliance Group and first vice president of the European Green Group.
MP Stephen Kerr currently holds Stirling for the Conservative party, winning the election in 2017 with a slim majority of only 148 votes.
Following the announcement of his selection, Smith said:
“I’m delighted, and raring to go as part of the SNP team. The SNP runs Stirling Council, and my great friend Bruce Crawford MSP represents Stirling in our national Parliament in Edinburgh.
“We won the European election here convincingly, as well as voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. It is high time we won this seat back at Westminster too and spoke up for Stirling and Scotland in Europe.
“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; to win Scotland we must win Stirling. It will be a tough debate but I’m up for it.”
Alyn Smith’s decision to put himself forward for a place in Westminster was not one taken lightly.
But after representing Scotland in the European Parliament in Brussels for 15 years, Smith says he “wants to be where the fight is.”
He added: “The fight we need to win is not in Brussels or Edinburgh. Scotland faces being draged out of the EU against our will, by Westminster.
“We’ll turn that argument around at Westminster, by having fewer Tories.”
Smith aims to use his connections in wider political circles to build up and unite the pro-EU majority behind his candidacy.
Stirling voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, with more than two thirds voting to stay.
However, almost 60 per cent of Stirling voted No to independence in the 2014 referendum, meaning a General Election here could be anyone’s game.
Although a date has not been set for a General Election, there has been growing speculation within political circles and in the media that one is imminent.
The local Stirling branch was quick to slam the SNP on Twitter in the aftermath of his candidacy announcement.
The tweet from the Stirling Tories account read: “Edinburgh lawyer Alyn is being forced off his 15 year ride on the EU’s gravy train, so clearly needs to find something to keep himself occupied whil he enjoys his EU pension.
“A shame the SNP in Stirling couldn’t find anyone local.”