FORMER MP Michelle Thomson has launched a bid for a seat at Holyrood in the 2021 elections.

Thomson was elected to Westminster in 2015 as one of "the 56" in the SNP's landslide win.

She lost the party whip after police launched an investigation into an alleged mortgage fraud but no charges were ever brought and she subsequently rejoined the party in 2018.

By that time, Thomson had lost her Edinburgh West seat in the snap 2017 poll – the same election that cost party giants like Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson their constituencies.

Since leaving frontline politics, Thomson – a former professional musician who turned to business after retraining – has run the Momentous Change consultancy with fellow 56-er Roger Mullin.

Last week Mullin asked local SNP branch members to nominate him to fight for Kirkcaldy in next year's Scottish Parliament elections.

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Today Thomson has revealed she is seeking selection for Falkirk East.

That constituency is one of several where only female candidates will be considered under a measure adopted by the SNP last year.

Incumbent Angus Macdonald is one of 14 SNP MSPs who have confirmed they will not seek re-election at the upcoming vote.

Thomson said: "Some people have asked me how it will feel being back. I would argue that I have never been away.

"My focus over recent years has been on research for strategic projects to benefit Scotland with my company Momentous Change. But there can be nothing more momentous than playing my part in helping secure self-determination for Scotland."

She went on: “The range of life, business and political experience I have had will stand me in good stead. We are at a pivotal point in Scotland’s journey – the limited powers of the Scottish Parliament are simply not enough to protect us from a Tory government out of control and intent on grabbing powers that should be returned to our parliament. There are clear risks ahead to our NHS, our food and agriculture standards and to our national brand.

"The post-Covid landscape, on top of a potentially chaotic Brexit, will be hugely challenging. I hope to be able to use my life, business and political experience on behalf of Falkirk East and Scotland."

Thomson last sought a nomination in October, when she was nominated as a Westminster candidate for East Lothian – a contest ultimately won by ex-MSP and former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

Her Falkirk East bid is supported by current Trade, Investment and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee, who said: "To win our nation’s independence we will need to be determined in the face of adversity and resilient to overcome the forces ranged against us. Michelle has demonstrated these qualities in spades. We need her on our Holyrood team.”

Thomson stated: "Having moved out of Edinburgh earlier this year, I was pleased to be approached by SNP members in Falkirk East to stand for selection.

"As a member of the SNP from the age of 16, I have made clear that my focus will be fulfilling the aims set out on my SNP card, in doing all that I can to seek independence for Scotland and the furtherance of all Scottish interests."