Rebel MSP Ash Regan has ‘thrown hat into the ring’ for SNP leadership | UK News

A rebel SNP MSP has reportedly “thrown her hat into the ring” to replace Nicola Sturgeon as first minister.

Ash Regan, who last year resigned as community safety minister over the Gender Recognition Reform bill, has reportedly revealed her intention to enter the leadership race.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, SNP MP Angus MacNeil said the party has a number of options to choose from following Ms Sturgeon’s surprise resignation.

“I know Ash Regan has put her hat into the ring,” he said.

“There are other capable people such as Jenny Gilruth or Ivan McKee, or I think Kate Forbes is going to put her hat into the ring as well.

“But one of the things that we do have is a depth of talent in the SNP.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has a cup of tea after giving a press conference in Bute House in Edinburgh where she announced that she will stand down as First Minister of Scotland after eight years. Picture date: Wednesday February 15, 2023.
Nicola Sturgeon is set to step down

Ms Gilruth is the Scottish government’s transport minister, while Mr McKee is the business minister and Ms Forbes the finance secretary.

Ms Regan resigned last October just hours before the GRR bill was due to go to a vote, which was subsequently blocked by the UK government.

In her letter to the first minister, Ms Regan, the MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, wrote: “I have considered the issue of gender recognition reform very carefully over some time.

“I have concluded that my conscience will not allow me to vote with the government at stage one of the bill this afternoon.

“Consequently, I am writing to resign my position in the Scottish government as minister for community safety.”

Ms Regan has been contacted for comment.

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Mr MacNeil said the party had a number of potential contenders.

He added: “We probably have too many to choose from in a way.

“But I probably think Kate Forbes will have a good shot, Ash Regan will have a good shot, maybe Jenny Gilruth if she throws her hat into the ring.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes during Topical Questions at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh.
Kate Forbes could be a potential contender

When asked to name a winner, Mr MacNeil stated: “Kate Forbes, there you go.”

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