FORMER SNP MP Stephen Gethins has announced he wants to stand in the new Arbroath and Broughty Ferry seat at the next Westminster election.

Gethins represented North East Fife from 2015 to 2019 and is the third hopeful hoping to replace the retiring Stewart Hosie.

The academic currently works at the University of St Andrews as a professor in international relations.

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Speaking to The Courier, he said: “This is a really important election. It’s really important to continue to make that case for independence, which is more important than ever, not least given the damage of Brexit.

“It’ll be important to have voices who have experience of that debate and discussion in what’s going to be a pivotal election.”

He added that the people who encouraged him to stand are keen for “somebody with experience”.

“This is obviously something I’ve thought long and hard about. It’s really nice to have had so much encouragement from folk in Dundee and Angus.”

According to The Courier, SNP insiders believe Gethins (below) is the most likely candidate to win the upcoming selection contest.

The National:

Gethins will battle against two other SNP candidates – Angus councillor Serena Cowdy and former SNP staff member and renewable energy lawyer George Bruce.

Gethins more than tripled the SNP’s vote share when he first won the seat in North East Fife in 2015.

In the 2017 General Election, Gethins held onto his seat by just two votes, making it the closest fought seat in the UK.

However, in 2019 he lost out to Wendy Chamberlain who regained the seat for the LibDems.