FORMER Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has been nominated by his party members to be East Lothian’s SNP candidate for the next General Election.

Mr MacAskill, who was an MSP between 1999 and 2016 – including representing Musselburgh as part of the Edinburgh East and Musselburgh seat between 2007 and 2011 – came out on top as local party members voted for their pick of four candidates for the position, in the anticipation that a General Election is likely to be held soon.

Mr MacAskill ultimately won the most votes, ahead of Prestonpans community councillor DJ Johnston-Smith – who had been the SNP’s Holyrood candidate for East Lothian in 2016 but lost out to Labour’s Iain Gray – former Edinburgh West MP Michelle Thomson and the SNP’s former Edinburgh branch secretary Lee-Anne Menzies.

On gaining the party nomination, Mr MacAskill said: “It is a privilege to have been selected as SNP candidate to be East Lothian’s strong voice for Scotland.

“I am grateful for the trust that enables me to return to frontline politics and fight to win this seat.

“All elections are important, and everyone in East Lothian certainly knows we’ve had a lot of them, but the forthcoming General Election will determine the future of our county, our nation and these islands for decades to come.”

The East Lothian Parliamentary seat is currently held by Labour’s Martin Whitfield, who won the constituency from the SNP’s George Kerevan in 2017.

Mr Whitfield is expected to stand again as Labour’s candidate in the next General Election but that is yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Robert O’Riordan has previously been confirmed as the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for East Lothian, while the Conservatives are yet to make the announcement on their candidate.