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Election / Communications chief in running for SNP candidacy

THE SNP’s head of communications is in the running to become the party’s candidate for the upcoming Scottish Parliament by-election in Shetland.

It is understood that Fergus Mutch, originally from Aberdeen, and Tom Wills – son of former Shetland councillor Jonathan Wills – both made their case at Wednesday’s night’s SNP hustings.

The party is expected to announce its candidate on Friday.

Mutch has been the SNP’s head of communications since 2015, and before that he was parliamentary assistant and office manger to Alex Salmond at the Scottish Parliament.

Picture from left to right: Tom Wills, SNP Shetland’s Iain Malcolmson, Fergus Mutch

Wills, meanwhile, works in offshore operations for tidal energy company Nova Innovation, including at its array in Bluemull Sound in Shetland.

So far six candidates have been confirmed for the by-election, which is taking place on 29 August following Tavish Scott’s resignation.

They are in alphabetical order: Johan Adamson (Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Conservatives), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Ian Scott (Fight Austerity, Save Our NHS, Save Our Welfare State), Ryan Thomson (independent), Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).