Out politician Alyn Smith launches bid for SNP deputy leadership

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Scottish National Party politician Alyn Smith has thrown his hat into the ring for the party’s deputy leadership battle.

The SNP’s current Depute Leader Stewart Hosie confirmed plans to stand down earlier this year after a tabloid sex scandal.

As the party readies for a battle to replace him, Member of the European Parliament for Scotland Alyn Smith has launched a bid to replace him.

The out MEP is a Director of LGBT Youth Scotland, a charity in Scotland campaigning against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Launching his bid today, he said the SNP must “embrace Europe and put the European question at the heart of how we do business as a Party, at home, as well as in the wider world”.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU last month, but the weight of Leave votes in England and Wales led to a UK majority for Brexit.

He said: “We need to make clear, to ourselves as a Party, to Scotland and to the wider world, that we choose Europe as our future, Westminster is our past.”

Tommy Sheppard, Angus Robertson, and Chris McEleny have also launched bids,

If elected, Mr Smith would join an uncannily high number of openly LGB politicians at the top of Scottish politics.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is engaged to her partner, while Labour’s Kezia Dugdale also came out earlier this year. Scottish UKIP leader David Coburn is gay, while Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie is bisexual.

If Mr Smith is elected, the only major party without an LGB leader or deputy would be the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who have just 5 MSPs and one MP.