THE leader of Clackmannanshire Council has announced her bid to become the MSP for Stirling ahead of next year's Scottish Parliament election.

Councillor Ellen Forson is seeking the SNP nomination and told the Advertiser that a run for Holyrood is something she has "always thought about" doing.

Bruce Crawford, the incumbent SNP MSP for Stirling, revealed in February that he would not be seeking re-election in 2021 as he wants to spend more time with his family.

And Ms Forson, currently a councillor for Clackmannanshire South, is looking to convince Stirling's SNP members that she is the ideal candidate to run for the seat in his place.

Ms Forson, who also runs the constituency office for Keith Brown MSP, said: "I have been working for an MSP for over 15 years; I know the job inside out and I think I have got a lot of experience and a lot to give – it's something I've always thought about.

"There are only two constituencies in Scotland I have thought about, and Stirling was one of them."

While she was "feeling positive" about deciding to seek the nomination, Ms Forson acknowledged it will be a tough fight.

She said: "There will be a lot of interest in that seat, and a lot of people coming forward.

"It's up to me to convince party members I'm the best person."

And while she also admitted it was a "big decision" to make, Ms Forson said she has no intention of stepping down as a councillor or as council leader for now.

She said: "There are no plans at the moment.

"The first challenge is to get selected by the members in Stirling – that's a process that can take a few months, and after that, that will be something I can discuss.

"A lot of councillors stand to become MSPs or they would seek nomination, and nothing changes until they are elected."