Anas Sarwar has defended Scottish Labour’s candidate selection after criticism from the SNP over a number of activists from England being chosen to fight seats north of the border.

The party’s pick in Angus and Perthshire Glens is Elizabeth Carr-Ellis, a councillor from Canterbury, in Kent.

Labour’s candidate in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross is Eva Kestner, who works as a councillor in Lewisham in London.

Last week, Melanie Ward, who lives in London was selected to fight the target seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

That followed the deselection of Wilma Brown - who had been selected by the local party - following an outcry over “racist” social media posts.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour candidate Wilma Brown dropped after probe into tweets

Dr Lucy Beattie, the SNP’s candidate in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, accused Labour of “parachuting in paper candidates.”

“With the merest sniff of a return to Westminster government Labour have reverted to type – unashamedly taking the people of Scotland for granted,” she added.

“No one should trust a party that can’t convince their own local members to get behind Keir Starmer’s pro-Brexit, pro-austerity agenda.”

Speaking to journalists in Glasgow, Mr Sarwar said there were people who had “connections and ties to Scotland who want to come and serve the Scottish people.”

“And I am not going to run my back on somebody that has a love for Scotland, a story about Scotland or a connection in Scotland that wants to deliver for the people of Scotland.”

READ MORE: SNP has 'squandered' opportunities of devolution says Sarwar

He pointed to Ms Ward, who is the chief executive of the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

“She is spending every minute of every day trying to get life-saving supplies into the Gaza Strip, to save people's lives, to get them the necessary treatment they need because of a completely broken health system.”

“Nobody can tell me she is not a phenomenal candidate standing in a Scottish seat who would be a great champion for the Scottish Labour party, and deliver change for the Scottish people whilst also celebrating Labour's internationalism to defeat poverty and injustice right around the world.

“I'm proud of our candidates. We're brimming with talent, whe're brimming with confidence, and I can't wait to elect a whole host of new Scottish MPs and a whole host of new Scottish Labour MSPs in government delivering for the Scottish people. “

“In constituencies across Scotland like Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, it’s clear only the SNP are focused on Scotland’s priorities and building a better future for everyone.”