DISABILITY rights activist Jamie Szymkowiak has announced his bid to replace Michelle Thomson at Westminster.

Szymkowiak, who founded the One in Five campaign to get more disabled people into politics, aims to contest the Edinburgh West seat currently held by Thomson, who sits as an independent following her suspension from the party.

It is unclear whether or not the party’s ruling National Executive Council will allow Thomson to stand on an SNP ticket again.

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However, Szymkowiak, who sold his stake in an Edinburgh recruitment firm to work for Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, says the area needs a “fresh start”.

He told The National: “We are going to face a really hard right-wing Tory government. As somebody who is really focussed on fairness and equality and has a strong business background, I think I am a good fit for Edinburgh West.”

Szymkowiak, who suffers from a condition affecting his mobility, left his role with Whiteford just days before the snap election was called and had planned to spend a period in Poland as a result of his Polish husband’s anxiety over Brexit.

However, he now intends to remain in Scotland, saying: “You have to stand by your convictions. We are already seeing the devastating effect that come from policies such as the family cap, the rape clause and universal credit – 50,000 disabled people are losing their Motability cars.

“As a disabled rights activist, there’s got to be someone like me who stands up against the Tories.”