A former SNP official who was an approved parliamentary candidate has quit the party after 14 years to join Labour.

Businessman Doug Thomson said he had swapped parties because he no longer wants independence.

Thomson, who is married to Holyrood magazine editor Mandy Rhodes, said he was unhappy with the SNP leadership and its lack of vision when it came to policy.

He said that the “final straw” was when he heard that Nicola Sturgeon and other senior SNP figures had deleted WhatsApps wanted by the UK Covid Inquiry.

He told The Times: “At the end of the day I am an optimist. I joined the SNP because at the time it projected real hope.

“That has been mainly replaced by grievance and a lack of vision and that doesn’t fit with how I see myself or indeed what I would wish for the country.

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