A SECOND SNP big hitter has expressed an interest in fighting the Holyrood seat currently held by Ruth Davidson, teeing up a potentially explosive internal selection battle.

MP Joanna Cherry QC said she was had been encouraged by party members to put herself forward for the candidacy in Edinburgh Central.

The seat has a Tory majority of just 610 and Ms Davidson is stepping down at the 2021 election.

Ms Cherry said: “Edinburgh Central is my home branch, I have been a member there since 2008, and there is a substantial overlap with my Edinburgh South West constituency.

“It is only right that I give these requests serious consideration and speak with my local branches in Central and South West.”

Mr Cherry’s move came just hours after former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said he was seeking the SNP candidacy in the seat.

If the two did compete for the candidacy it would be seen as a proxy war for different SNP factions.

Mr Robertson is close to Nicola Sturgeon, who has been cautious about securing Indyref2.

While Ms Cherry is close to Alex Salmond and advocates legislating for a consultative referendum without Westminster consent in order to trigger a court case to settle its legality.