Constance Launches SNP Deputy Bid

A third SNP member has launched a bid to become the next deputy party leader - standing on a platform of continuing the fight for Scottish independence.

Angela Constance, who was recently promoted to Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women's Employment, is seeking a further promotion to second in command in the SNP and potentially the next Deputy First Minister.

Her promotion to Cabinet Secretary shortly before the independence referendum was designed to increase female representation in the Scottish Cabinet.

With Nicola Sturgeon almost certain to be appointed the next First Minister, Ms Constance's bid raises the prospect of two women taking the top two spots in government.

The MSP for Almond Valley launched her deputy leadership bid in Addiewell, West Lothian, earlier.

A spokesman said: "Angela launched her campaign in her constituency where she grew up. Her campaign will focus on continuing to make the case for independence."

Ms Sturgeon has pitched her party leadership on the platform of engaging constructively with the cross-party Smith Commission on more powers but said she is "more convinced than ever'' that Scotland would one day be independent.

Scottish transport minister Keith Brown and SNP treasury spokesman at Westminster Stewart Hosie are also in the running for deputy SNP leader.