Commenting on the news that East Lothian’s MP has joined Alex Salmond’s Alba party, Martin Whitfield, Scottish Labour candidate for East Lothian, said:
“Kenny MacAskill’s defection to Alex Salmond’s new party is not just an internal matter for the SNP, who were already in disarray before this latest bombshell, it is also a huge issue of trust for voters in East Lothian.
“Mr MacAskill was elected as an SNP MP less than 18 months ago. He has been a part-time MP at best since then, spending much of his time hundreds of miles away in Speyside. Now, by dropping his party and seeking to return to Holyrood in a region that does not even include most of East Lothian, he has surely lost any remaining goodwill from local people.
“He has already neglected his duties as our MP and demonstrated time and again that he couldn’t care less about East Lothian. He should step down ahead of the Holyrood election and give people here the opportunity to elect someone who will actually stand up for our area. East Lothian deserves better.
“There will also be questions about where this leaves the SNP’s candidate for Holyrood. He has been one of Mr MacAskill’s closest allies and voters will surely wonder if he will be the next one to jump ship.”