ONLY slightly more than a third of the SNP’s candidates at the next general election will be women, despite the party backing the high profile Women 50:50 campaign, which has called for at least 50% representation of women in Parliament, councils and on public boards.

The campaign called the revelation disappointing, and expressed concern that diversity and equality had been sacrificed for a speedy process ahead of a possible snap election.

Only 19 of the 54 candidates announced by the SNP so far are women.

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Talat Yaqoob, Chair and Co-Founder of Women 50:50, said: “Four out of five political parties have signed up to support the Women 50:50 campaign.

“That support can’t just be rhetoric, we expect it to he translated into action at every election.

“The SNP managed this in the last Holyrood election, there is no reason it can’t be done for Westminster.

“Women candidates with talent and ambition exist, provided parties open the doors to them.

“Often when there is the potential of a snap general election on the horizon, the priority becomes the speed with which candidates are selected, and equality and diversity in the process is forgotten, but we cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to women’s fair representation.”

Lee Chalmers from the Parliament Project said she was “surprised” by the party’s man-heavy list of candidates.

“This would have been a really good opportunity to get more women into Parliament,” she said.

“It would have been lovely to see 50% or even 51% given that’s what we are in the population.”

It’s not known how the other parties compare as they’re all still selecting their candidates.

The SNP’s Westminster hopefuls are all chosen by local branches from a list of approved candidates. Of the 105 people on that list, 41 are women while 64 are men. Party rules mean that branches are not allowed all-male selection contests. If they’re unable to identify a female candidate they can request the National Executive Committee’s assistance.

The SNP declined to comment.