LABOUR have set their sights on winning a key target seat at the next General Election, with party grandee Douglas Alexander confirmed as their MP candidate for East Lothian.

The constituency is currently represented by Kenny MacAskill, who was elected under the SNP banner in 2019 but later defected to Alba.

MacAskill has a majority of just 3886, having taken the seat from Labour’s Martin Whitfield.

It is not known if MacAskill (below) will be running at the next Westminster election  - if he does, the pro-independence vote would be split between him and the SNP candidate.

The National: East Lothian MP, Kenny MacAskill, spoke about Scottish independence at the Wee ALBA book launch in Tranent last week

Labour will be hoping to capitalise on any split in the vote and come through the middle to regain the seat.

Former Scottish secretary Alexander is a familiar face within Labour, having served in both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s Cabinets.

He held the Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat from 1997 to 2015 until he was ousted by the SNP’s Mhairi Black – aged just 20 at the time.

Alexander, one of three Labour ministers to "quietly [repay] more £50,000 in expenses" during his time in office, was the campaign chief for the General Election that year. The party lost 40 of their 41 seats.

READ MORE: Douglas Alexander's career in tatters after Mhairi Black wins comfortably

Responding to the news of his selection, Alexander tweeted: “He’s running! Humbled and grateful to be overwhelmingly selected today by local party members as Scottish Labour’s candidate for East Lothian. Change is coming to our country and I’m determined to play my part by winning East Lothian back for Scottish Labour.”

The Times columnist Kenny Farquharson said the selection was “excellent news”, describing Alexander as a “really good political mind”.