Andy Bryden failed to pass NATs ‘rigorous’ selection hurdles to become the party’s Ayr East candidate.

The married dad-of-two has branded the whole process as ‘unfair’ and ‘ridiculous’ and is now canvassing solo.

Local SNP members said Mr Bryden was expelled after his departure last week. And one insider accused him of ‘discarding’ their friendship in a letter sent to the Advertiser.

Mr Bryden, 67, also an actor, said: “I was left with no choice but to resign. I told them I will be standing as an independent for Scotland. I feel the SNP are just another big national party now were everything is led and instructed from Edinburgh.” Mr Bryden and two other candidates who were hoping to take MP Corri Wilson’s old ward in South Ayrshire Council had to undergo a grueling panel interview in Glasgow. They then faced hustings in Ayr in front of local party members.

But taxi driver John Wallace, of Prestwick, came up trumps as he had already been through the vetting procedure in the previous local election.

Dad-of-two Mr Bryden said he is determined to put up a major fight- as he is the only candidate who lives in the Ayr East ward. He also ran in the last local election when he was narrowly defeated by Corri Wilson.

Mr Bryden said: “I joined the SNP after the euphoria of the referendum. They welcomed me with open arms. I wanted to put my hat in the ring to be nominated. But the selection process was taken away from the local branch by Edinburgh.

“I don’t know why I didn’t get through. During the last election I didn’t expect to come so close but I really want to be selected this time in the interest of democracy. I am passionate about Ayr and Ayrshire.” South Ayrshire Council leader Allan Dorans said: “Following a rigorous assessment process there was only one candidate, John Wallace, who had previously been through an assessment process and was approved. Therefore John Wallace was selected to be the SNP candidate for Ayr East.

The by election will take place on September 17.

Other candidates include former nurse Susan Wilson for Labour, Boyd Murdoch, of the Greens and Daniel McCroskrie.