TWO long-serving Glasgow MSPs are facing a challenge to being selected as candidates for next year’s Holyrood election.

SNP rule changes have made it easier for sitting MSPs to be challenged in a bid to increase diversity among election candidates.

Of the current eight SNP MSPs in Glasgow, five are not being challenged and will be the party’s candidate in May, and one is standing down. James Dornan in Cathcart and John Mason in Shettleston face challenges.

Mr Mason is being challenged by Katy Louden, a South Lanarkshire councillor, and Valentina Severa Clavell, a Glasgow Caledonian University student. The MSP said he welcomed the challenge.

He said: “I was challenged last time but the person did not get enough local signatures to force a selection contest.

“That hurdle has been removed now with a push for more women, ethnic minority and disabled candidates.”

Mr Mason has been a councillor, MP and MSP in the East End and says he remembers when politicians couldn’t be removed.

He said: “This is more democratic so I welcome it.

“I’ve won seven times now in the area so our team must be doing something right.”

Mr Dornan, who was a councillor before becoming an MSP in 2011, is being challenged by Jen Layden, a Glasgow councillor, and Junaid Ashraf, a North Lanarkshire councillor.

He said: “I’ve represented parts of this constituency for 14 years. My record stands me in good stead.

“Anyone is entitled to challenge but there needs to be a good reason to unseat an MSP. “My experience is valuable, especially going into one of the most important elections ever for the SNP.”