Scottish Nationalist candidate for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East has been chosen

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Scottish Nationalists have chosen their prospective Parliamentary candidate to fight in the Westminster election next May.

Members - whose ranks have increased fivefold locally since the referendum- made their decision at a packed meeting last week.

We can reveal that the winning candidate is Stuart McDonald a former pupil of Kilsyth Academy from Milton of Campsie - who is 36.

The former solicitor who now works full time for the SNP served as a senior researcher during the Yes campaign and has also worked at Holyrood.

Mr McDonald said: “After the massive public engagement in the area during the independence referendum people don’t want to see the Westminster parties just settle back down to business as usual – politics in Scotland has changed for good.

“So whether people voted Yes or No, and no matter what party they have previously voted for, our message is that only a strong team of SNP MPs will stand up for the interests of the people of Scotland at Westminster - and ensure we obtain the meaningful new powers we need to tackle low pay and poverty, protect public services and create more and better jobs”.

“It is a huge honour to be selected as the SNP candidate for my home turf and I am very much looking forward to meeting with as many local people as I can over the coming months,’’ he added

Mr McDonald also revealed that his two key aims would see him fight fracking locally and protecting jobs at HMRC.

The General Election will take place on Thursday, May 7.