Former SNP leader Alex Salmond to stand as an MP

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has announced his plans to return to politics as an MP.

The former First Minister of Scotland only quit as party leader in October, after Scotland overwhelmingly voted to reject independence.

However, he said at the time he did not plan to retreat from politics entirely – and today announced his intention to step away from Holyrood and stand as a Westminster MP.

It is expected that he will contest the constituency of Gordon in Aberdeenshire – previously held by Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce, who is retiring from politics.

The SNP performed well in the seat in 2010, coming second with 22 percent of the vote, compared to the Lib Dems on 36 percent. The seat is expected to be an easy gain for the SNP, due to discontent with the Coalition government.

Writing for PinkNews in February, Mr Salmond explained why the passage of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Scotland was “one of the proudest days in the history of Scotland.”

He was hailed for his focus on LGBT issues as SNP leader, pledging to enshrine LGBT rights in a written constitution if Scotland voted yes.

Mr Salmond flew a Pride flag from St Andews House during the Commonwealth games, to protest the anti-gay laws of competing countries.

The then-leader also warned participants: “We as a nation will not tolerate discrimination. We as a nation celebrate diversity.”

However, he defended the party’s acceptance of major donations from Stagecoach boss Brian Souter – who led a campaign to keep Section 28 – saying he thinks he is an “outstanding entrepreneur”.

The current leader of the Scottish National Party is Nicola Sturgeon.