Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 21:30 UK

SNP choose ex-BBC man in Glasgow

David Kerr
David Kerr says he has a 'deep affection' for the constituency

Former BBC journalist David Kerr has been confirmed as the SNP candidate for the Glasgow North East by-election.

Following his endorsement Mr Kerr said he was deeply honoured and added: "I'll be working flat out between now and polling day."

Mr Kerr, 35, was the sole nominee at a new selection meeting for the Glasgow North East seat.

The by-election was sparked by the resignation of Commons speaker Michael Martin.

Mr Kerr said: "I'm deeply honoured to be given the chance to serve the people of Glasgow North East.

"This is an area I have a deep affection for. My family first settled here in the 19th century and lived here for generations, and my early years were spent in Duke Street in Dennistoun.

"Labour has held this seat since 1935. They've had their chance and have failed.

"It's time for a change. Working together, the SNP and the people of this Glasgow North East have got what it takes to see this community thrive."

Stood down

The previous SNP candidate stood down after questions were raised about whether he had broken charity law.

Labour branded the development an "embarrassing farce" but the SNP said Mr Kerr was an excellent nominee.

Mr Kerr, a former editor of Newsnight Scotland who more recently regularly appeared on Reporting Scotland, left the BBC to seek the SNP nomination for the seat.

At the first selection meeting earlier this month, the local party voted by 17 votes to 12 to choose Glasgow City Council opposition leader James Dornan as the candidate.

Mr Dornan later withdrew after a newspaper questioned whether he had broken the law by holding a position with a charitable organisation, linked to the council, while using a protected trust deed to protect himself from creditors.

The by-election follows Mr Martin's decision to stand down as an MP and Commons speaker, after criticism of his role during the MPs' expenses row.

Mr Kerr previously stood as an SNP candidate in the Falkirk West by-election of 2000.



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