EXCL Nicola Sturgeon will NOT field SNP candidates outside of Scotland
The SNP will not stand candidates in elections outside of Scotland, PoliticsHome has learned – after Nicola Sturgeon said she was “tempted” by the idea.
In an interview with the Big Issue, the Scottish First Minister appeared to flirt with the prospect of putting forward representatives of her party for elections in England and Wales.
Speaking to Scottish actor Alan Cumming, she said: “I'm tempted... There are a lot [of people] in England, a lot who contact me, who feel completely disenfranchised that there is nobody speaking up for them.
“Our London branch is booming at the moment.”
But a senior SNP source told PoliticsHome the party had “no such plans” and said Ms Sturgeon’s remarks were similar to those she had made before.
The source added: “For the avoidance of any doubt the SNP will continue to stand candidates for election in Scotland only.”
The SNP had a surge in membership applications from people in England following Ms Sturgeon’s appearance in the general election debates last year.
Reports suggest the party has approximately 1,000 members in England.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ms Sturgeon said she would meet US President-elect Donald Trump if he visits Scotland despite previous strong criticism of the property mogul.
The pair last week held their first phone call since the businessman defeated Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.
“Obviously he spends time in Scotland, he has Scottish ancestry and if he comes - as I'm sure he will - he's the President of America and if the opportunity is there, I'd meet him,” she said.
“I've written to him to congratulate him.
“I don't think it's any secret that I would rather that he hadn't been elected, but he has, and so I'm going to respect that.
“But I'm not going to abandon my own values, just as I'm sure he's not going to abandon the things he believes in.
“Hopefully we can have a relationship based on values, although I do hope he does abandon some of the values that he campaigned on.”