A former Labour MP who fronts a prominent unionist campaign group has been selected by the party to fight the next general election.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of the Scotland in Union group, has been confirmed as the Labour candidate for the Motherwell and Wishaw seat at Westminster.

Ms Nash, 38, was previously the MP for Shotts and Airdrie between 2010 and 2015. She has been the chief executive of Scotland in Union since August 2017.

Two years ago, Ms Nash failed in her attempt to be named Labour candidate for the Westminster byelection in Airdrie and Shotts, being passed over by party members in favour of North Lanarkshire councillor Kenny Stevenson.

Read more: Byelection snub for Scotland in Union boss

But the SNP has jumped on comments Ms Nash made ahead of last year’s council elections in her Scotland in Union role, when she urged Scots to vote tactically for the Tories in a bid to frustrate the push for a second independence referendum.

SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw Marion Fellows said: “The pro-Brexit Labour party cannot help themselves but try and tune up the old Better Together band one last time.

“Pamela Nash is the chief executive of Scotland in Union, which is a Tory-funded front for the No campaign.

“Just last week Douglas Ross was urging voters to back Labour, and now Anas Sarwar’s party has selected Pamela Nash who wanted people to back the Tories at the last election.”

She added: “Both parties are so similar these days that they are happy for you to vote for the other, no matter the disastrous consequences for Scotland.

Read more: Former Labour MP Pamela Nash urges voters to back Tories in May

“We are all too familiar with this arrangement now between the Tories and Labour after they made grubby deals last year in council chambers across Scotland.

“All this demonstrates is that the SNP is the only alternative choice from Westminster control and a red or blue Tory entering 10 Downing Street."

A Scottish Labour source said: “This is the type of desperate nonsense you can only write while waiting anxiously for a chap at the door.”

Alastair Cameron, Scotland in Union director, said: “We congratulate Pamela on this selection.

"She’ll be a fantastic candidate in a key target seat which is a two-way battle between the SNP and Labour.”