SNP leadership: Brown gets more deputy backing

SCOTTISH Government ministers Roseanna Cunningham and Margaret Burgess have announced their backing for transport minister Keith Brown’s bid to be deputy SNP leader.

Keith Brown: Facing two challengers in race for deputy. Picture: Greg Macvean
Keith Brown: Facing two challengers in race for deputy. Picture: Greg Macvean

The support from community safety minister Ms Cunningham and housing minister Ms Burgess came ahead of today’s deadline for nominations in the SNP’s leader and deputy leader elections

Mr Brown is expected to emerge as one of three contenders for the post, which is being vacated by Nicola Sturgeon, who is set to be named as the sole candidate to succeed Alex Salmond as SNP leader.

Cabinet secretary for training, youth and women’s employment Angela Constance and SNP MP Stewart Hosie – the party’s Treasury spokesman at Westminster – have also declared their candidatures for deputy leader.

Mr Brown, who is also the government’s lead on veterans, has already won the support of ministerial colleagues Alex Neil, Humza Yousaf and Michael Matheson.

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He said: “We’ve got a job to do in government and a job to do in keeping the spirit of the referendum alive. We’ve got to lay out a route map for Scotland and plan for a future where the powers of the Scottish Parliament are not yet clear.

“The SNP has a serious job to do and I’m confident that we’ll be up to the job if we get the foundations right. This is a serious task and I’m ready for it.”

The new Scottish National Party leader and deputy leader will be announced at the SNP conference in Perth at midday on 13 November, after a ballot of members has taken place.