LONG-SERVING SNP activist Nadia El-Nakla – the wife of Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf – has announced she will seek selection as the party’s candidate for next year’s Holyrood election in the seat currently held by Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie.

If chosen to stand and successful in ousting Rennie, El-Nakla, who is also an MSP’s staffer, would be the first Scots-Palestinian member of the Scottish Parliament and could be the first woman of colour ever returned to Holyrood.

El-Nakla, a veteran activist who also works with vulnerable people at a drugs counselling service, told The National: “I’m more than Humza’s wife – I’m 36, I have 20 years’ campaigning experience and 10 years in the party.

“I have a politics degree, I work for an MSP. I have campaigned across the country, I have spoken at SNP conference, I have stood in the rain campaigning for Palestine since I was 14. We’ve only been married for three years.

“This is not about Humza, this is about me. This is my ambition and my dream. I am asking SNP members in North East Fife to back me.”

The announcement comes after El-Nakla, a case worker to Dundee East MSP Shona Robison, joined with her boss to launch the Changing Miscarriage Care campaign, which calls for major change across the country to improve provision for women and aid affected families.

That campaign has seen both women reveal their own miscarriage heartbreak, with El-Nakla, who has two daughters, disclosing how she has suffered baby loss four times in less than three years.

Her eldest daughter Maya is 11, while baby Amal was born safely in May last year.

That campaign, El-Nakla says, is gaining traction amongst the public. Nicola Sturgeon and Lorraine Kelly are amongst those who have responded, with both stating that the experience of baby loss “never leaves you”.

El-Nakla, the convenor of SNP Friends of Palestine, says that campaign shows her mettle: “I am standing up and asking the Government to make changes when my husband is part of that Government. I am not afraid to do that.”

Rennie has represented North East Fife since 2016. It’s the third Holyrood position he’s held after Dunfermline and West Fife and Mid-Scotland and Fife.

His 2016 victory saw him take the seat from the SNP’s Roderick Campbell with a majority of 43.8%.

In a visit to Fife just days ago, UK LibDem leader Ed Davey said his side is “probably the only party who can make significant gains against the SNP in Holyrood”, praising Rennie for operating outside of “partisan, Punch and Judy politics”.

He confirmed LibDem MSPs will not back a second Scottish independence referendum if an SNP majority is returned in next year’s election.

El-Nakla, who has been endorsed by Tommy Sheppard MP and Fife councillor Karen Marjoram amongst others, believes North East Fife is ready for change.

Referring back to the student fees U-turn carried out under former LibDem leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, she said:

“I’m the opposite of Willie Rennie – I don’t believe he stands for anything apart from criticising the Government.

Brexit was a huge issue for this constituency and now the leader of the LibDems has said that’s ‘for the birds’.

“They campaigned to stop Brexit. This takes you right back to their record on university fees.”

In her statement to local party members, El-Nakla, who sees Scotland “on the cusp of independence”, said: “From Winnie Ewing to the First Minister, we have always had strong SNP women in Holyrood and I want the chance to continue their legacy and smash the glass ceiling by being the first female MSP of colour to be elected.

“I know activists in North East Fife have worked tirelessly over the years, with my energy and experience and your winning campaign strategy, we can reclaim this constituency for the SNP and take a step closer towards becoming an independent nation.”