Scotland politics

Election 2017: Carmichael to stand for re-election

Alistair Carmichael
Image caption Alistair Carmichael has represented Orkney and Shetland since 2001

Former Scottish secretary and Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael has confirmed he will stand in June's election.

The member for Orkney and Shetland said he was looking forward to campaigning for his seat at a time of "enormous challenges" in UK politics.

All of Scotland's sitting party MPs have confirmed they will stand again, with the exception of independent MPs Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson.

Meanwhile a number of sitting MSPs and MEPs have come forward as candidates.

The UK is to go to the polls on 8 June after Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a snap election, which were subsequently backed by MPs by a margin of 552 to 13.

All 54 sitting SNP MPs have confirmed they will stand again, while the party is looking for fresh candidates to replace Ms McGarry and Ms Thomson, who currently sit as independent members, following separate police investigations.

Mr Carmichael completes the set of incumbent members, with Labour's Ian Murray and Tory David Mundell already campaigning in their Edinburgh South and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale seats.

The Lib Dem MP, who was first elected in Orkney and Shetland in 2001, saw his majority cut to 3.6% in 2015 - down from over 51% in 2010.

A group of constituents subsequently launched a legal challenge in an election court over the leak of a memo about First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the election campaign.

Mr Carmichael survived the legal battle at the Court of Session, although judges were critical of his conduct in their final ruling.

Image caption Mr Carmichael survived a bid to unseat him in an election court, although judges criticised his conduct

Four MSPs have so far put themselves forward to fight for Westminster seats, all of them Conservatives.

John Lamont was confirmed as the Tory candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, seeking to overturn SNP MP Calum Kerr's majority of 328 in the most marginal seat in Scotland.

List MSPs Douglas Ross, Ross Thomson and Miles Briggs have announced they will fight for seats in Moray, Aberdeen South and Edinburgh South West respectively.

Meanwhile MEP Ian Duncan has put forward a challenge to Pete Wishart in Perth and North Perthshire, a seat the SNP member has held since it was created in 2005.

Scottish Labour is evaluating a list of 150 potential candidates, and have said their list should be finalised later in the week.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to campaign in Fife following a speech at the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Aviemore, which will also hear from SNP leader Ms Sturgeon.

The Lib Dems are operating all-female shortlists in a number of target seats, having already put forward former MP Jo Swinson to challenge John Nicolson in Dunbartonshire East.

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