The Scottish National Party’s General Election candidate in Orkney & Shetland will be Robert Leslie, a community councillor from Kirkwall. The General Election will be held on Thursday 12th of December.
Robert Leslie (49) is energy officer at Orkney Housing Association and a former reporter and news editor with The Orcadian and Orkney Today. He was born and brought up in Orkney and attended Kirkwall Grammar School. He later completed a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies through The Open University.
In his spare time the candidate is a side drummer with Kirkwall City Pipe Band and an enthusiast for live music. He is also the author of the recently published history of Orkney Rugby Football Club. Mr Leslie is married to Kara, and they have three daughters, Ria, Isla and Ruby.
Speaking after he was selected by the SNP branches in Orkney and Shetland, Mr Leslie said:
“Orkney and Shetland didn’t vote for Brexit, yet we could suffer most if the UK leaves the EU. Our farmers, crofters and fishermen will find important markets blocked by tariffs and form filling. The SNP alone has consistently opposed Brexit. We stand for remaining in the EU and reforming it – particularly the Common Fisheries Policy.
“In my daily work I see the effects of fuel poverty. No one in our islands should have to choose between heating and eating when we have so much renewable power on our doorsteps. As your SNP MP I’d lead a campaign to overhaul energy policy andensure the Northern Isles can play our part in a fair transition to a low-carbon economy, based on affordable, renewable electricity.
“Our Lib Dem MP supported the damaging roll-out of Universal Credit and changes to women’s pensions, causing unnecessary hardship to thousands of islanders. Spending cuts, driven first by Alistair Carmichael’s Tory/Lib Dem coalition and then by increasingly right-wing Tories, have damaged households across these islands. Inequality is growing. Just look at the disgraceful statistics for foodbank use in Orkney and Shetland.
“I will always oppose austerity and seek a fairer future for all. And the SNP will always fight to keep Scotland’s NHS safe in public hands – away from grasping American drug cartels.
“After voting Lib Dem for over half a century it’s time the Northern Isles tried a new tack. We need a loud and clear SNP voice to say we’re fed up with the broken Westminster system, which has sidelined Scotland and made a mockery of the claim that the UK is a family of equal nations.
“Westminster has not served our islands well. The SNP government in Edinburgh has done far better. It’s time to bring all the functions of government home to Holyrood.
“If elected I will stand up for every single one of my constituents and ensure that the voices of Orkney and Shetland are heard at Westminster.”
Other candidates announced so far are:
Alistair Carmichael Lib/Dem
Coilla Drake Labour
The Scottish Greens will not be contesting the Orkney and Shetland Constituency
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