Former SNP MP Angus Robertson bids to run for Holyrood in 2021

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Angus RobertsonImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Angus Robertson was an MP from 2001 until 2017

The SNP's former leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson, has announced plans to contest the Holyrood seat held by Ruth Davidson.

Mr Robertson will seek the party's nomination to stand in Edinburgh Central at the 2021 election when Ms Davidson is expected to step down.

The ex-Moray MP told the Edinburgh Evening News he intends to overturn the Tories' 610-vote majority.

Ms Davidson took the seat from the SNP at the last Scottish election in 2016.

But in October she announced she was unlikely to seek re-election, two months after she quit as Scottish Conservative leader.

Since then she accepted and then turned down a lucrative job with a lobbying firm and has been nominated for a seat in the House of Lords.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Ruth Davidson led the Scottish Conservatives from 2011 to 2019

Announcing his intention to contest the seat, Mr Robertson accused Ms Davidson of putting "other career interests in London ahead of the people she still represents at Holyrood" and argued that constituents "deserve better".

Mr Robertson also highlighted his links to the capital, having grown up in Stockbridge.

He said: "Edinburgh Central deserves a full-time MSP who will put the interests of their constituents first.

"At present, the heart of Scotland's capital city is represented by somebody who would prefer to be in the House of Lords and pursuing a career in public relations.

"Edinburgh Central needs an MSP that has a full-time commitment to their constituents and constituency, and the SNP needs a full-time candidate to win this important seat. I believe I am best placed to be that candidate.

"I will not pretend to constituents that I can be in two places at the same time."

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Before becoming an MP in 2001, Mr Robertson worked as a journalist, including for the BBC World Service as a foreign correspondent.

He was elected MP for Moray in 2001 and was appointed as the SNP's defence and foreign affairs spokesman, a post he held for 14 years.

Mr Robertson led the party in the House of Commons from 2007 until he lost his Westminster seat to the Conservatives' Douglas Ross at the 2017 general election.

He has since worked as managing director of pro-independence think-tank and polling organisation Progress Scotland.

But Mr Robertson has long been linked with a return to frontline politics and has been tipped as a future SNP leader.