THE Scottish Greens’ Zara Kitson has pledged to visit all the party’s local branches ahead of next year’s Holyrood elections if she is elected co-convener.

Kitson, who is bidding to win the post currently held by Maggie Chapman, made the promise during the first live Q and A of her election campaign. She was answering questions submitted by party members on social media.

“Our party has been through unprecedented growth so it’s no surprise that has thrown up challenges and that some members, branches and groups feel disconnected,” she said.

“My commitment, if elected as co-convener, is to reach out to every single part of the membership and forge a new relationship between the party’s central resources and local branches and groups.”

In the online session earlier this week, Kitson promised that if elected she would visit all 18 party branches ahead of the May elections, and also make headquarters staff more accessible to local branches.

Chapman, who has been co-convener since November 2013, is also standing in the contest, which is the first major leadership race in the party.

Unlike other political parties the Scottish Greens have two conveners, one of each gender, to convey the party’s commitment to gender equality.

Patrick Harvie MSP has been the other co-convener for the party since November 2008, succeeding Robin Harper.

Both Kitson and Chapman are fighting to get seats in next May’s elections. Kitson is second on the party’s regional list for Glasgow, while Chapman tops the list for the north east of Scotland.

Ballots for the co-convener contest will go out to Scottish Green members later this month.