Salmond has eyes on seat at Westminster

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SCOTLAND’S former First Minister Alex Salmond has launched his bid to win a seat at Westminster in next year’s general election.

Mr Salmond announced that he is a candidate for the SNP nomination for the Gordon constituency in Aberdeenshire.

Speaking in Ellon in the constituency, he said that there is the “prospect of real power for Scotland” if the SNP wins a significant number of seats at Westminster.

He said that if “real power” cannot be exerted, Scotland faces the “bleak prospect” of further austerity.

“What has struck me more than anything else is that in the weeks since the referendum the people of Scotland have refused to give up on the hope,” Mr Salmond said.

“For those who voted Yes the possibility remains of real change. For many who voted No they absolutely insist that the vow that was given to Scotland should be redeemed.

“Therefore, with so much commitment among the people, and with so much at stake for Scotland, I think it’s impossible to stand on the sidelines.

“So on this sunny day in Ellon, I can now tell you that I am a candidate for the SNP nomination for the Gordon constituency.”

Mr Salmond is currently the MSP for the Aberdeenshire East constituency, which covers some of the same areas as the Gordon seat. If elected in May, he will also continue to serve at Holyrood.

He said that if voters give him a “dual mandate” for both parliaments, he plans to donate one of his salaries to charity.

The Gordon seat is currently represented by Liberal Democrat Sir Malcolm Bruce, who is retiring in May.

Asked whether he would sit in a Cabinet with Labour, Mr Salmond said: “That is unlikely, I would have thought, but I’m not ruling it out, I’m just saying it’s unlikely.

“I’m actually the only person who has actually run a minority government in these islands, incidentally.”