ONE of the Scottish Parliament's deputy presiding officers has given his backing to Alan Reid's bid to win back the Argyll and Bute seat at the next UK general election.

Mr Reid's Liberal Democrat colleague Liam McArthur was the guest speaker at the local party branch's AGM and dinner at the Rosslea Hall Hotel in Rhu on December 1.

Mr Reid was announced last month as the party's candidate for the constituency - newly enlarged and renamed Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber - for the Westminster election, due to be held by early 2025 at the latest.

As well as being one of the parliament's deputy presiding officers, alongside Annabelle Ewing of the SNP, Mr McArthur is the MSP for Orkney - a seat he has held since 2011.

He said: “At a time where politics is becoming ever more polarised and populism is on the rise, there is a need and a role for Liberal Democrats to act as a moderating force.

“People in Scotland deserve better than simplistic solutions to complex problems or eye-catching promises from ministers unconcerned about how or even whether they can be delivered..

“In the face of a climate emergency, sluggish economy, and budgets under real pressure, being honest and upfront with voters about how these challenges can be met is crucial.

“This is where Liberal Democrats in Scotland and across the UK have an important role to play and why Alan Reid, with a depth of experience, is the person best placed to stand up for the needs of people and communities in Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber.”

Read more: Alan Reid to stand for Lib Dems at UK general election

Mr Reid served as the MP for the area from 2001 until 2015 until he was unseated by the SNP's Brendan O'Hara.

In 2017 he fought for the seat again but came a distant third - behind Mr O'Hara and the Conservative candidate Gary Mulvaney.

Mr Reid, who is also a former Argyll and Bute councillor, fought to regain the seat again in December 2019, but again finished third behind the same two candidates.

He was selected in November after a postal ballot of all Liberal Democrat members in the constituency.