Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Menzies Campbell has urged voters to help the party win back the former seat of Charles Kennedy.
Lord Campbell said that SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, elected to the seat in May 2015, has “a great deal to answer for” and criticised the SNP campaign in that election.
Speaking after a visit to the Black Isle Brewery, he urged people to support Craig Harrow, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.
He said: “Charles Kennedy was a Highland gentleman and an excellent local MP. He always fought for the Highlands and led the principled opposition to the Iraq War, yet faced appalling treatment at the hands of the SNP in the most despicable campaign I can recall in all my time in politics.
“Ian Blackford has a great deal to answer for, as does the SNP high command in Edinburgh who knew exactly what sort of campaign was being run locally.
“It would be a bitter blow to the nationalists if they were to lose their Westminster leader for the second election in a row. Craig Harrow is a Liberal Democrat of the Kennedy tradition and would be an outstanding MP.”
Former Liberal Democrat leader Mr Kennedy died in June 2015 aged 55.
An SNP spokesman said: “Charles Kennedy represented Ross, Skye and Lochaber as a diligent local MP for many years – and in 2015 the people placed their trust in Ian Blackford and the SNP to do likewise.
“Ian has served his constituents with distinction since then, and while we take nothing for granted, we are confident that the SNP’s positive message is resonating with voters right across the Highlands and the rest of the country.
“A vote for the SNP at this election is a vote to escape Brexit, lock Boris Johnson out of Downing Street, and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.”