THE SNP have announced their candidate for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar seat at the next General Election.

It comes after Angus MacNeil, who has represented the constituency since taking it from Labour in 2005, was ejected from the party.

Susan Thomson, currently a councillor for Uibhist A Deas, Eirisgeigh Agus Beinn Na Faoghla, has been selected to run in the seat for the SNP.

Thomson won 52% of the vote in a two-week ballot of SNP members on the islands. She beat competitor Angus MacLeod by just eight votes.

It seems certain that she will run against MacNeil in the next General Election.

The National:

Thomson (above) said: “I am thrilled to be selected by SNP members in the islands. We had a very friendly and good-natured selection contest. I’m now looking forward to taking a positive campaign to the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

“Years of Westminster mismanagement have left us with a soaring cost of living crisis that is hammering families across the islands. Voters in Scotland deserve better than having to choose between this discredited Tory government and a pale-red imitation of them.

“I have put myself forward as I believe these islands have so much potential that needs to be unlocked. My focus over the coming months is to earn the trust of voters and demonstrate why I would be the best choice to be their MP.”

Alba have said they will not contest the Western Isles seat in order not to split the pro-independence vote.

MacNeil has said previously that he will run in the seat with or without SNP support.

Labour have selected Torcuil Crichton, a former Daily Record journalist, to contest the seat for them. It is considered a key target for Keir Starmer’s party.

MacNeil was expelled from the SNP in August after he refused to retake the whip following a one-week suspension from the party’s Westminster group.

“I didn’t leave the SNP – the SNP have left me. I wish they were as bothered about independence as they are about me!" he said at the time.