MSP can’t stand for Berwick

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Borders SNP MSP Christine Grahame’s proposal to contest the Berwick-upon-Tweed Parliamentary constituency at next year’s General Election has been ruled out by her own Party’s Executive.

Ms Grahame, who represents Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale in the Scottish Parliament, expressed her willingness to be a candidate in the English seat currently held by Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith so that the SNP might also take part in televised debates in the run-up to polling day in May 2015.

But the idea sparked debate among voters on both sides of the Border.

It also received a favourable reaction from the North-East Party, which seeks greater devolution for Berwick and the north east of England generally.

Ms Grahame said: “I am disappointed but not surprised that the SNP’s governing body has rejected my offer.

“I, of course, accept the ruling.

“And I have today contacted Hilton Dawson, of the North-East Party, offering to assist them in their campaign if they think that would be helpful.

“But to stand in Berwick to promote devolution for the North-east and to lay to rest the scare stories about Scotland cutting itself off from England in the event of independence (I am English born) I required approval from my Party’s Executive.”