TWO SNP MPs have endorsed a 2021 Holyrood hopeful who voted No in the 2014 independence referendum.

Westminster shadow secretary of state for culture John Nicolson and shadow secretary of state for defence Stewart McDonald have publicly tweeted their support for Michael Sturrock, who is running to be the SNP’s candidate in Edinburgh Southern for the Scottish Parliament elections next year.

“A sound candidate and a solid message. The coalition for Scotland’s future must be open to those who weren’t with us in 2014 but are with us now, and what better way to show progress than putting them on the ballot? As the First Minister said, let’s show, not tell,” tweeted McDonald earlier this month.

The following day Nicolson also issued his support.

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“Michael’s journey from #notoyes is inspiring. He is an outstanding candidate, passionate, articulate, and persuasive. I watched him win converts with me on the doors during December’s General Election. He is a formidable campaigner and would make a fine MSP.”

Sturrock voted No in the 2014 referendum, citing Better Together campaign’s promise that the way to protect Scotland’s place in Europe was to vote against independence.

The 26-year-old argues the SNP needs figures that can build bridges with those who voted No in 2014.

Catriona MacDonald, who was the party’s candidate in Edinburgh South at the General Election in December, has also put herself forward to win the SNP nomination for Edinburgh Southern. MacDonald has been endorsed by MP Joanna Cherry.

Financial services consultant Doug Thomson and councillor Alison Dickie have also entered the contest to become the SNP candidate to oust Labour’s Daniel Johnson.