AN Independent councillor has thrown his hat in the ring to contest the Renfrewshire South seat in May’s Scottish Parliament election.

Andy Doig will be seeking to replace SNP incumbent Tom Arthur and secure the constituency for his new pro-indy and anti-European Union (EU) party, Scotia Future.

The Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch representative is making his second bid for a spot at Holyrood, having stood for election as an SNP candidate in 2011.

After quitting Nicola Sturgeon’s party in 2017, he joined forces with former SNP MSP Chic Brodie last year to launch Scotia Future and is hoping residents in his ward will back him to represent them in Edinburgh.

Councillor Doig said: “I love Renfrewshire South as it is where I live and work and it needs a strong local voice in the Scottish Parliament.

“I am proud to represent my constituents within Renfrewshire Council, but many have recently approached me to consider standing for Holyrood and I have decided to go for it.

“Many of the key issues I have been fighting for over the last nine years on
the council, like reform of planning laws, a better tourism strategy, and the need to re-industrialise, are all policies made in Edinburgh, not Paisley.

“Scotia Future wants real independence for Scotland, with its
own currency, economic justice to give everyone a chance in life, and more
power for local government.

“Forty years ago towns like Johnstone, Barrhead, and Linwood, were industrial powerhouses. We badly need to increase manufacturing capacity as a key political priority.

“Real independence is not about changing flags but about changing
society and promoting a fair and enterprising culture based on co-
operative values.”

The Gazette: Chic Brodie and Councillor Andy DoigChic Brodie and Councillor Andy Doig

Scotia Future will push for Scotland to be separate from both the UK and the EU, but members intend to promote the idea of a Switzerland-style deal with the latter.

Switzerland is not an EU member state but is associated with it, having adopted various provisions of European law in order to participate in the single market.

As well as facing competition from Mr Arthur as he fights for a second term at Holyrood, East Renfrewshire councillor Paul O’Kane will be looking to take the seat for Labour, while former professional footballer Derek Stillie is aiming to net the constituency for the Conservatives.

The seat straddles both Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, covering towns such as Johnstone, Barrhead and part of Linwood, as well as villages including Lochwinnoch, Howwood, Kilbarchan and sections of Neilston and Elderslie.

READ MORE: Councillor launches new pro-independence party