Second candidate joins SNP depute race

A second candidate has joined the contest to become the SNP's new depute leader.

Julie Hepburn is the first woman to put her name forward for the role vacated by Angus Robertson.

Ms Hepburn is not in elected office, but she is well known within the party.

She has worked for Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Perth MP Pete Wishart.

She revealed her intention to stand in an interview with The National newspaper, stating that the SNP should be "in training" for a second independence referendum.

"We need to be doing the preparation and training," she said.

"We should not be pushing our views, but listening to No voters, or as I like to say, those people who are yet to be persuaded."

She said she wanted to "co-ordinate policy development" as depute leader.

"We have a lot of very high profile, capable people who can stand in for the First Minister in terms of being the public face of the party, going on television and pushing our arguments," she said.

"What I want to do is push through the internal reforms which are under way."

The depute leader role was vacated by former MP Angus Robertson
The depute leader role was vacated by former MP Angus Robertson (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ms Hepburn currently works for MP Stuart McDonald and is married to Scotland's Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn.

Glasgow MSP James Dornan has already announced that he will stand in the depute leadership race.

Westminster leader Ian Blackford has ruled out putting his name forward.

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