New Scottish 'independence first' party reveals candidates for Holyrood elections

A new party focusing on achieving Scottish independence as soon as possible has revealed its candidates for the May elections.

The Independence for Scotland Party (ISP) is one of a handful of new splinter parties looking to challenge the SNP and the Greens for the pro-independence vote on the regional list.

Candidates include several former SNP councillors, including council group leaders and other independence activists.

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Among them include a former SNP councillor in North Lanarkshire who left the party following a furious row with fellow members.

Scottish independence supporters march through Glasgow during the All Under One Banner march.

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Julie McAnulty won a defamation action against fellow activist Sheena McCulloch after she was falsely accused of racism, winning £40,000 in damages.

Due to the row, which centred on emails sent by Ms McCulloch claiming Ms McAnulty made a racist remark while campaigning, Ms McAnulty was deselected as a council candidate.

She stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the 2017 local elections after resigning from the SNP.

Ms McAnulty will now stand as an ISP member in Central Scotland alongside former SNP member Derick Tulloch.

Roddy McCuish, a former SNP group leader and council leader of Argyll and Bute Council, is also standing as a candidate for the ISP in the Highlands and Islands.

He was also the first elected representative of the ISP, having been elected as an independent before joining the party.

Not since 2003 and the SSP under Tommy Sheridan, which won six seats, has a pro-independence party other than the SNP or the Greens won representation to Holyrood.

Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde and one of the leading experts in the field of Scottish independence, told The Scotsman in December there was “no discernible evidence” new parties would impact the Holyrood results.

He said: “There is no discernible evidence to date that the various pro-independence parties other than the SNP and the Greens will have an impact on the outcome of May's election.”

The full list of candidates is as follows:

Central Scotland: Julie McAnulty, Derick Tulloch

Glasgow: Stephen Armstrong, Cris Thacker

Highlands and Islands: Ross Weir, Roddy McCuish

Lothian: Matthew Wilson, John Hannah

Mid-Scotland and Fife: Andrew Bentley-Steed, Roy Mackie

North-East Scotland: Julia Pannell, Dr Peter Ashby

South Scotland: Ewan Steed

West Scotland: Colette Walker, Iain Forsyth

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