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Four candidates in SNP deputy leadership race

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Four candidates have put themselves forward to replace Stewart Hosie as the deputy leader of the Scottish National Party.

Westminster leader Angus Robertson, MP Tommy Sheppard, MEP Alyn Smith and Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny are in the running.

Candidates were required to submit nominations from at least 100 members from 20 different branches before yesterday’s deadline.

Hustings will now get underway, beginning in Peterhead next week.

The SNP’s 120,000 members will decide the winner, with the result due to be announced at the SNP conference in the autumn.

The contest was prompted when Mr Hosie announced he would be stepping down from his post amid allegations of an affair.

Mr Robertson was first elected to the Westminster parliament in 2001, serving as Westminster leader from 2010 and as defence spokesman until last year.

Mr Sheppard, who studied at Aberdeen University, was elected to the Edinburgh East seat at last year’s general election. He is the founder of the Stand Comedy Club, which has venues in

Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Mr Smith rose to prominence following his speech in the European Parliament after the UK voted for Brexit in the EU referendum, receiving a standing ovation.

Mr McEleny is leader of the SNP opposition on Inverclyde Council.

The deputy post has repeatedly been a stepping stone to the party leadership.

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