Kenny MacAskill planning political comeback as MP in East Lothian

Former SNP Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is planning a political comeback as an MP in the forthcoming general election.

He is seeking the party's candidacy in the seat of East Lothian after it was lost to Labour in the last general election two years ago.

MacAskill says the election could provide a "final heave" which helps Scotland achieve independence. An election is expected to be held early next year if not before, as Brexit chaos continues to engulf the UK political system.

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The SNP grandee will address a party hustings in East Lothian tonight.

Kenny MacAskill is seeking a political comeback

"The British state’s breaking apart and those elected to Westminster have a critical role in that final push," he will say.

"I’ve the skills, experience and energy to add to the team already there. Whilst also delivering for constituents in East Lothian, where people are shamefully being forced into penury or driven out of their adopted land."

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The SNP's George Kerevan won the seat in the 2015 election, but lost it two years later to Labour's Martin Whitfield.

MacAskill remains one of the best know figures in Scottish politics after serving as Justice Secretary from 2007 to 2014 and being thrust into the global spotlight in 2009 with the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.

He stepped down as an MSP in 2016 and has since been working as a pundit and commentator, including a weekly Scotsman column.

He was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 as a list MSP representing the Lothians, before winning the constituency seat of Edinburgh East and Musselburgh in 2007 and then Edinburgh Eastern in 2011.

He also wrote a biography of Jimmy Reid’s biography, but describes the current time as a "pivotal moment" and insisted the "next book can wait."

He will continue: "Independence has to be won and the challenges remain great. But I’ve the strength and resilience to endure it, as well as the energy to deliver it. All whilst serving the people that it would be a privilege to represent. This time we will win."