Axed Kirkcaldy SNP candidate vows to fight on in election

Neale Hanvey
Neale Hanvey

Axed SNP Kirkcaldy election candidate Neale Hanvey will still stand as a candidate.

He will contest the closing fortnight of the December 12 poll as an independent.

Mr Hanvey’s name remains on ballot papers under the SNP name and badge, but he has had all support from the party withdrawn after claims he posted anti-Semitic comments on Facebook.

On social media last night he said: “I can confirm I will still be standing for the Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath constituency as a candidate.

“My policy commitments remain and I am unequivocally dedicated to the constituency and constituents.”

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On twitter he replied to one message saying: “I’m still a candidate ... you can still vote for me. Pass it on.”

All the parties are now trying to analyse how the developments of the past 24 hours will impact on the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat.

It was a close two horse race between Mr Hanvey and Labour’s Lesley Laird who is defending a slender 259 majority.
Some polls had the former SNP candidate ahead, and tipped him to win.

The party, which has suspended him pending a disciplinary hearing, cannot replace him with another candidate because the deadline for all nominations has expired.

It has urged supporters to switch their time and energies to North-East Fife where Stephen Gethins is defending a majority of just two.

But some have already cast their postal voters in support of Mr Hanvey – if he won, he would sit as an independent MP at Westminster – and others intend to continue to back him, while the Greens, the only other pro-independence party standing – are expected to claim a core of the SNP support.

Candidate Scott Rutherford said: “With the SNP suspending their candidate, It’s now clear that only a vote for the Greens can unseat Lesley Laird and secure a pro-independence MP in this constituency.”