LIBDEM MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has confirmed his intent to stand as a candidate to become his party’s next leader after long-time chief Willie Rennie announced he’ll be stepping down.

Rennie has led the Scottish LibDems for more than 10 years, first assuming office in 2011. The North East Fife representative will continue his work as an MSP.

Late last night Cole-Hamilton shared his campaign clip, telling party members he can appeal to people who are “tired of having to choose between extremes” of nationalism.

Writing for the Edinburgh Evening News, Cole-Hamilton attacked the SNP’s record: "It is the job of government to tackle inequality but, after 14 years in power, the SNP have failed to move the dial on child poverty, Scotland’s drug deaths are the worst in the developed world and the educational attainment gap between rich and poor remains devastating."

The MSP also pledged his commitment to the Union, but insisted it was not similar to the Tories’ brand of Unionism.

"I am an internationalist, I believe in forging unions with our neighbours wherever we can. I will always support our membership of the United Kingdom,” he explained.

"But that doesn’t mean that I have to sign up to the Conservative vision of what that Union should look like."

The ballot will remain open until August 20 – so far, no other candidate has put themselves forward for the position.

READ MORE: Holyrood: LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton appears to swear during committee meeting

Cole-Hamilton has served the Edinburgh Western constituency since 2016. He secured his hold there in May, benefitting from tactical support from Unionist voters to increase his vote share by more than 12 percentage points. 

Earlier this year Cole-Hamilton found himself in hot water when The National revealed he had sworn, while on mute, at the Children’s Minister Maree Todd during an online committee meeting. He later apologised to Todd directly and to the Holyrood Chamber.