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Alex Salmond Is Going To Stand As An MP At The Next Election

The former SNP leader wants to return to the House of Commons and push for more powers for Scotland.

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Alex Salmond, the former leader of the SNP, has confirmed he will stand for the Westminster parliament at May's general election.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Salmond stood down as Scotland's first minister last month after losing September's independence referendum.

But on Sunday he announced his intention to return to Westminster as MP for the Aberdeenshire constituency of Gordon, in a bid to push for further powers for Scotland by basing himself in London.

Salmond said "Scotland needs to turn Westminster upside down" and it is up to politicians like him to "stand up to the plate".

He will stand for the Aberdeenshire seat of Gordon, currently held by the Lib Dems.

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The seat has been held by Malcolm Bruce, a Lib Dem, since 1983. But Bruce is retiring at the next election and Lib Dem support has collapsed in Scotland since the last election, meaning Salmond is highly likely to take the seat.

In a speech announcing his candidature Salmond said the SNP, which now has almost 100,000 members, is the "the only true mass membership party in these islands".

It is not proposing "home rule", "devo max" and still less "near federalism". It is real control of one more tax and a small proportion of welfare spending; it would leave Scotland still in the clutches of Westminster austerity. That is not Robert Smith's fault. It rather reflects the reality that the Westminster parties will concede to Scotland as little as they can get away with. It is up to us to ensure that they get away with nothing.[...]Without the gaining of that real power and influence Scotland faces a bleak prospect. Continued austerity with further cuts in public services; the renewal of a Trident weapons system which is both unaffordable and unusable; the undermining of our vital European relationship and a continued assault on the poor and powerless by a Westminster elite without a semblance of social conscience.

Salmond will remain as a MSP until the 2016 Scottish parliament election.

If elected to Westminster in 2015, he will donate one of his salaries to a local youth charity. Salmond also confirmed he has no desire to lead the group of SNP MPs at Westminster, even though he has a significantly higher profile than any of the party's representatives in UK-wide parliament.

Salmond's Lib Dem opponent said the constituency voted No in the independence referendum and will do so again:

Surprise @theSNP didn't check public opinion before putting @AlexSalmond in firing line. Said NO once we'll say it again #bringiton

christine jardine@CajardineFollow

Surprise @theSNP didn't check public opinion before putting @AlexSalmond in firing line. Said NO once we'll say it again #bringiton

9:19 PM - 06 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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