Scottish Socialists to fight all regional lists

The Scottish Socialist Party is to field candidates in every part of the country in an attempt to re-enter Holyrood, after being wiped out from the Scottish Parliament in 2007, when they lost all six MSPs.

The SSP will campaign against public spending cuts and for Scottish independence after naming lead candidates for the Scottish Parliament regional lists for the election in May 2011.

And party officials have shrugged off the prospect of a challenge from former Respect MP George Galloway in Glasgow, saying his party has "no structure and organisation" north of the Border and "no policies" other than opposition to Scottish independence.

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A spokesman said: "It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Our policies have been worked out democratically and we have been here since the Scottish Parliament was set up."

The SSP's joint leaders, former MSPs Colin Fox and Frances Curran, are to stand respectively in the Lothians and Glasgow regions.

Jim Bollan of West Dunbartonshire Council, the party's only councillor, is to stand in the west of Scotland, and national secretary Kevin McVey will contest the Central Scotland area.

The SSP said its decision to contest all Scottish regional lists will mean "every voter in Scotland will have the opportunity to vote for Scotland's socialist party".

Mr Fox said: "Working people are being hammered by the neo-liberal policies of the four establishment parties in Scotland.

"The Scottish Socialist Party is the only political party in Scotland that stands up for working people and we will be campaigning for an independent socialist Scotland."