MP Angus MacNeil has confirmed he will stand as a candidate at the next general election - hinting of a possible return to the SNP under a new leader.

The long-serving MP was expelled by the SNP last night after 30 years as a member.

However, asked by The Herald if he would stand as an independent or as a candidate for Alba he hinted at the prospect of a return to the SNP under a new leader should the party be defeated at the upcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

"I will stand - who knows what will happen with the SNP...might be wisdom and a change after what will be a debacle in Rutherglen," he told The Herald.

Should he stand as an independent or for Alba, the move would put pressure on support for the SNP which is facing a challenge from Labour in Na h-Eileanan an Iar which he has represented since 2005.

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Labour has recently chosen its candidate Torcuil Crichton, a former Westminster editor for the Daily Record.

Mr MacNeil's expulsion followed a clash with chief whip Brendan O'Hara and criticism of the party's strategy on independence describing it as "utterly clueless".

He was suspended from the party's Westminster group last month after reportedly clashing with chief whip Brendan O'Hara.

The party's conduct committee met on Thursday evening to discuss his case after he refused to immediately rejoin the group at the end of his suspension.

Mr MacNeil, 53, tweeted about his expulsion, using a kangaroo emoji to refer to the member conduct committee.

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He said: "The Summer of Member Expulsion, has indeed come to pass. As I have been expelled as a rank & file SNP member by a 'member conduct committee'.

"I didn't leave the SNP - the SNP have left me. I wish they were as bothered about independence as they are about me!"

He was suspended from the Westminster group for a week in early July following reports of a row with Mr O'Hara in the House of Commons.

Later that month his membership of the party was suspended as he refused to immediately rejoin the SNP group.

He released a statement attacking the SNP leadership's approach to independence, accusing it of a lack of urgency.

"I will only seek the SNP whip again if it is clear that the SNP are pursuing independence," he wrote.

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Thursday's decision by the conduct committee means he cannot sit as an SNP MP any longer and appears to rule out any reconciliation with the party.

On Wednesday, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn was asked about Mr MacNeil as he spoke to journalists on the by-election campaign trail in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

He told the PA news agency the party's MPs should not "pick and choose" when they hold the party whip.

However he said he would not give a "running commentary" on the conduct process and he "gets on well with Angus".

Mr Flynn said he and his colleagues wanted a "positive outcome" but added this was not always possible in politics.

It is unclear yet whether or not the whip will be removed from another long serving parliamentarian.

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing is facing a sanction after he defied his party to vote for the sacking of Scottish Greens minister Lorna Slater in June.

It is understood a decision is to be made when Holyrood returns in September following its summer recess.

Asked by the BBC if he faced sanctions for voting to sack Ms Slater in the vote of no confidence, Mr Ewing said earlier this week that despite some of his colleagues saying he was "toast" he was still "waiting for that toasting."

He added: "The future fate of Fergus Ewing is not what's important. What's important is the economy in Scotland, getting the basics right, competent government, replacing the greens, and getting rid of their madcap policies as quickly as possible."