A FORMER Conservative councillor has launched a bid to become the MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

Michelle Ballantyne was picked by party this week to stand in the election which will take place in 2021.

The former SBC elected member for Selkirkshire is currently a list MSP for South Scotland.

But she is hoping to win the local constituency seat, which is held by the SNP's Christine Grahame.

Mrs Ballantyne told us: "Having lived and worked in the constituency for the past 29 years, raised my six children and built our business in the constituency, I know the challenges both young and old face.

"I believe its important politicians bring real life experience and knowledge to the role.

"I’ve worked extensively in the public, private sector and charity sectors and I hope to continue to bring my operational and strategic understanding to the political arena."

Mrs Ballantyne was a candidate for the constituency in 2016, receiving 10,163 votes.

But Ms Grahame won the seat with 16,031.

Ms Ballantyne added: "I am looking forward to what I’m sure will be a very robust campaign and to making the case as to how I can best serve the people of Midlothian South, Lauderdale and Tweeddale."