I'm seeking the support of SNP members to be their candidate to represent the heart of the city once again.
About me: Former SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Minister for Local Government. Unseated Labour 2011, stood down undefeated 2016, ready to unseat Tories in 2021 with your support. A progressive voice, supported by the grassroots members.
If I’m selected as candidate and elected as MSP next May I will donate back - from my salary - an amount equal to anything this selection crowdfunder raises. I'll put it into Edinburgh Central SNP's independence fighting fund. Any money raised but unspent will also go to the branch.
If I am selected and elected, every penny you have donated will therefore ultimately go to the local campaign to win the referendum we all know is coming.
Money raised for SNP campaigns should be spent winning independence, not fighting each other.
Let's leave this division behind and come together for our shared objective - making Scotland a confident, fair and independent country.
I put myself forward to be your candidate in Edinburgh Central because I believe the branch deserves someone they can unite behind. I've won here before, I'm based locally, I'm backed locally, and I have national experience as one of Nicola Sturgeon's Ministers.
I know there has been disquiet about this selection process. I share it. I hope the party learns from this. I'd rather not ask you for money.
There are almost a thousand Edinburgh Central SNP members who do not go to meetings or out canvassing. They do not know the candidates personally. But, as members, they rightly also have a vote in this contest.
So far they have been bombarded by almost two thousand pounds-worth of social media advertising.
I've petitioned the national executive committee internally for a cap on spending. No response. I took my concerns public, reluctantly. Still no response. You should not be being asked to contribute money to crowdfunders for internal campaigns.
But now I must ask you to help even this contest in the only way possible. If you believe in a fair process in Edinburgh Central, where all candidates have the same opportunity to make their case to members, please donate to my campaign.
You may also wish to donate to Lee-Anne Menzies, another candidate in this constituency, so that she can make her case too.
All contributions must comply with UK electoral law. Donations to selection contests must be checked for permissibility when the sum is over £500 and reported to the Electoral Commission over £1,500. In keeping with the spirit of the law however I will use a lower threshold. All donations of £50 or over will be checked and either reported or returned to the donor. This is the threshold used for donations to individual candidates in constituency contests in general elections.