7 Dec 2014

Alex Salmond to run for Westminster seat

Former first minister says Scotland needs SNP MPs to “rumble up Westminster” and make sure the main parties keep the promises made before the independence referendum.

Mr Salmond announced that he is a candidate for the SNP nomination for the Gordon constituency in Aberdeenshire in a speech in Ellon in the constituency – to cheers from supporters.

He said it was impossible to “stand on the sidelines” since announcing he would step down as first minister after Scotland voted no to independence in September.

Mr Salmond said: “What has struck me more than anything else is that in the weeks since the referendum the people of Scotland have refused to give up on the hope.

“For those who voted yes the possibility remains of real change. For many who voted no they absolutely insist that the vow that was given to Scotland should be redeemed.

“Therefore, with so much commitment among the people, and with so much at stake for Scotland, I think it’s impossible to stand on the sidelines.

“So on this sunny day in Ellon, I can now tell you that I am a candidate for the SNP nomination for the Gordon constituency.”

He said the SNP and its allies had moved into a “commanding position” in Scottish politics, with increased membership and a boost in the polls.

“It is also likely there will be no overall majority in the Westminster parliament, and therefore in that Westminster difficulty there lies an opportunity for Scotland,” he said.

Mr Salmond said the SNP would not do a deal with the Conservatives in “any shape or form” but added: “There are other possibilities, and in these possibilities a strong group of SNP MPs will have the capacity to rumble up Westminster.”

Mr Salmond is currently the MSP for the Aberdeenshire East constituency, which covers some of the same areas as the Gordon seat. If elected in May, he will also continue to serve at Holyrood.

He said that if voters give him a “dual mandate” for both parliaments, he plans to donate one of his salaries to charity.