Kenny MacAskill defiant in face of calls for him to stand down as East Lothian MP

Former justice secretary Kenny MacAskill is defiant over calls for him to stand down as an East Lothian MP to stand as a list MSP for Alex Salmond’s new pro-independence party, Alba.

Sunday, 28th March 2021, 3:24 pm
Former Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill says he will run as a list MSP while holding his post as MP.

Mr MacAskill said he would not be standing down to allow a by-election in East Lothian following the announcement that he will leave the SNP to join Alba, led by the former First Minister..He told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: “During the Parliament I served in, Alex Salmond and indeed John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, stood on a dual mandate and represented both Westminster and Holyrood.“I’ll be seeking to represent Holyrood as well as containing and continuing to serve my constituents in East Lothian.”

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Political opponents have called for Mr MacAskill to step down from Westminster if he is to stand as an MSP on the Lothian list. He stood down from Holyrood at the 2016 election and was elected to Westminster in 2019.

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Ian Blackford, SNP’s Westminster leader, described Mr MacAskill as “an increasing embarrassment” and said his departure was a “relief”.

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray, said: “Kenny McAskill must now stand down to allow the people of East Lothian to make his obsession with division history. The people of East Lothian deserve better than to be cast aside without a second thought.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said: “Kenny Macaskill wants to go from being the SNP MP for East Lothian, to the Alba party MSP for Lothians. I will be interested to see how he pursues this role from his home in Banffshire."

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