Scotland

SNP deputy leadership contest: Keith Brown and Stewart Hosie biographies

Who are the two candidates to replace Nicola Sturgeon as deputy leader of the SNP?

Keith Brown

Image copyright PA

The Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP is a former Royal Marine and a veteran of the Falklands War.

He then had a 15-year stint working in local government in Stirling, where he was an active trade union representative, and served for 11 years as a councillor in Clackmannanshire, leading the council between 1999 and 2003.

A member of the Scottish Parliament since 2007, he was minister for skills and lifelong learning before being appointed transport minister - replacing Stewart Stevenson, who resigned after heavy snowfall brought traffic gridlock in 2010.

In his maiden speech at Holyrood in 2007, Mr Brown admitted he had been convicted of not paying the Skye bridge toll in the mid-1990s. The tolls were abolished in 2004.

Since taking on the transport brief, he has taken a central role in monitoring potential transport problems, including bunking overnight in Transport Scotland's control room when bad weather is forecast.

He has a dual role as veterans minister, acting as the Scottish Government's de-facto defence spokesman.

Stewart Hosie

The Dundee East MP is deputy leader and chief whip of the SNP group at Westminster.

During the referendum debate, he was vocal on the issue of currency, calling the Westminster parties' refusal to consider a currency union with an independent Scotland a "grotesque bluff".

Born in Dundee, he worked in IT for 20 years, and is a former SNP youth convener and national secretary, according to his biography on the SNP website.

He was elected to the Commons in 2005, taking the seat from Labour, and sits on the Treasury Select Committee at Westminster.

In November 2012 Mr Hosie, who is married to Sport Minister Shona Robison, was treated in hospital for a transient ischaemic attack, or "mini-stroke". He praised the "high level of professional care" he received at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital.