A FOURTH candidate has thrown his hat into the ring in the face to become East Lothian's next MP.

East Lothian Labour Party has announced that Prestonpans resident Martin Whitfield will be its candidate in the General Election on June 8.

He joins sitting MP George Kerevan (SNP), the Conservatives' Sheila Low and independent candidate Mike Allan in confirming his candidacy for the snap election.

READ MORE: Three candidates confirmed for General Election

Originally a lawyer, Mr Whitfield switched to primary school teaching over 10 years ago, and teaches in Prestonpans Primary School.

Labour said that Mr Whitfield had always chosen to remain as a classroom teacher, a job he loves, and is highly regarded in his profession, representing his colleagues on the EIS East Lothian Executive Committee and as a council member of the General Teaching Council of Scotland.

A community activist too, Martin is the chairman of Prestonpans Community Council and the organiser of Prestonpans 'RotaKids' with the local Rotary.

Speaking about his candidacy, Mr Whitfield said: "I'm delighted and honoured to stand for the East Lothian constituency, where I live and work.

"I love East Lothian and know that it has been let down time and again by the SNP.

"My promise in this campaign is simple: I will always stand up for East Lothian and always put its interests first.

"On June 8 we can send a powerful message to Nicola Sturgeon that we do not want another divisive independence referendum, but instead a fair share for our schools, hospitals and other local services.

"Only Labour can beat the SNP in East Lothian, and it’s time for an MP who is focused on this county, not another referendum."

At the last General Election in May 2015, the SNP's George Kerevan defeated incumbent Labour MP Fiona O'Donnell, who is now standing for election to East Lothian Council next week.

However, a year later at the Scottish Parliament election, former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray held off the challenge of the SNP to keep his seat with an increased majority.

Mr Gray said: "I'm absolutely delighted that Martin will be our candidate at the General Election. I have worked with him on a number of issues, including the Grace's Sign campaign and tackling local rail problems.

"The people of East Lothian know that the SNP has let the county down again and again. From shutting our courts, to denying our schools extra funding for years, delaying our new hospital by a decade and starving local railway services of the investment they need, the SNP has always put East Lothian at the back of the queue.

"We need a Member of Parliament whose priority is his local community and standing up for this county, rather than being an apologist for the SNP Scottish Government whose focus is another divisive independence referendum. Martin Whitfield will be that MP, stronger for East Lothian."