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Election News Feed

Armstrong reiterates CFP stance

Scottish Fishermen's Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong.SCOTTISH Fishermen's Federation boss Bertie Armstrong has written to politicians to reiterate the industry's desire to leave the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) when the UK exits the EU.

The chief executive said fishermen "simply cannot agree" to anything that sees matters stay under the rule of the much-criticised CFP.

Election round-up

Lib Dem candidate Alistair Carmichael.Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael has become the latest northern isles election candidate to sign the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) Brexit pledge.

Nominations close

The six candidates in alphabetical order.THERE were no late surprises when nominations for June's general election closed at 4pm on Thursday.

Register to vote

SHETLAND residents are being reminded to ensure they are registered to vote in the upcoming snap general election on 8 June.

Campaign round-up

One-time Liberal Democrat councillor Peter Malcolmson has called on islanders to support SNP candidate Miriam Brett.THE SCOTTISH Greens have confirmed that they will not be fielding a candidate in the Northern Isles for next month’s general election.

Polling stations open for general election

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Voting has been under way since 7am on Thursday morning.SHETLAND's 28 polling places are now open as people in the Northern Isles decide who should be their next MP.

The venues opened their doors at 7am and they will close at 10pm.

The count will take place overnight at Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney and Shetland News will be reporting live from the event.

A two-horse race or a three-way battle?

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Some of the election pamphlets distributed to the 33,000 strong electorate of Orkney and Shetland . Photo: Shetland NewsTHE GENERAL election campaign is coming to an end this week after Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise move to hold a snap election on 8 June.

Six candidates threw their hat into the Orkney and Shetland ring, and like the last general election in 2015, many consider it to be a two-way battle between the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

Election: candidates gather for third hustings

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THE VAST majority of those attending Thursday night's hustings at the Tingwall hall had already made up their minds who to vote for at next week's general election.

The ensuing two-hour long debate thus didn't reveal much new as most of the questions asked followed well-rehearsed party political battle lines.

Carmichael and Brett lock horns at debate

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Five of the six candidates followed the BBC invitation for the hustings in the Shetland Museum and Archive. From left to right: BBC journalist Daniel Lawson; Stuart Hill, independent; Miriam Brett, SNP; Robina Barton, Labour; Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dems; and Jamie Halco Johnston, Tories. All photos Chris Cope/Shetland News  BREXIT and the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the UK leaving the European Union is usually what the Northern Isles candidates point to as the main issues in this year's general election.

It was a question about Scottish independence, however, that provoked the most heated debate at BBC Radio Shetland's hustings in Lerwick on Tuesday evening.

Election: lively debate at Brae High hustings

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Five of the six candidates attended Tuesday's hustings at the Brae High School. Photo: Patrick MainlandCandidates for the Orkney & Shetland seat at next week's General Election faced the questions of pupils at Brae High School's hustings event on Tuesday afternoon, writes former pupil Patrick Mainland.

Chaired by history teacher Irvine Tait, the debate saw five of the six candidates – UKIP's Robert Smith the only absentee – put to task by students on a range of issues.

Candidates back suspension of campaign following horrific terrorist attack in Manchester

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LOCAL candidates have welcomed the decision to suspend the general election campaign following a suspected terrorist attack which resulted in 22 people being killed at a concert in Manchester on Monday night.

Police are treating the apparent suicide bombing, which took place in the foyer of the Manchester Arena during a concert by American pop star Ariana Grande, as a terrorist attack.

Shetland Islands Council's deputy convener Beatrice Wishart said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by last night’s attack at the Manchester Arena, especially the families and friends of those who have died or are injured or missing.  

“This horrific and senseless attack, deliberately targeting young people attending a pop concert, is another painful reminder of the need for vigilance against a continuing terrorist threat.”

Tories pledge support for island wind projects

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The Tories pledge to support island wind. Photo: Shetland NewsTHE CONSERVATIVE party has given its strongest indication yet that a subsidy scheme for large-scale wind projects on Scottish islands such as the proposed Viking Energy development could be in place if the party wins June's general election.

In its manifesto, unveiled on Thursday, the Tories said they would "support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities".

Brett won't sign Brexit fishing pledge

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ORKNEY and Shetland SNP election candidate Miriam Brett says she will not be signing the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) Brexit pledge.

She said the party is "concerned more broadly with the impact that Brexit could have on our fishing industry and our economy as a whole".

The SFF has asked every candidate taking part in the 8 June UK general election to sign the pledge, which calls on the government and fishing industry to work together to take control of the country's waters.

Those working in the sector are keen to see the end of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) once the UK leaves the EU - a set of rules which Brett said the SNP believes is "unfit for purpose".

The Conservatives' Jamie Halcro Johnston and the Liberal Democrats' Alistair Carmichael have already confirmed they have signed the pledge.

Labour candidate wants to tackle inequality

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Labour's Robina Barton doesn't think the Orkney and Shetland election is a two-way battle between the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.LABOUR's Northern Isles election hopeful Robina Barton has highlighted equality as one of her main campaign issues and described the reliance on food banks across the country as "revolting".

She said her party's pledge to tax raise income tax on earnings over £80,000 and bring the minimum wage up to £10 an hour will go some way to helping inequality in the UK.

Barton, who came third in last year's Scottish Parliament election for Shetland, also said that she has encountered "genuine uncertainty" from voters who are unsure who to support come polling day on 8 June.

Black & Brett pack out museum twice over to make SNP case to lead opposition to Tories

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The SNP's Northern Isles candidate Miriam Brett and Mhairi Black, a high-profile party figure who became the UK's youngest MP since 1832 two years ago, pictured outside the Shetland Museum and Archives before Tuesday night's Q&A sessions. Photo: Shetland News/Neil RiddellLEADING young SNP politician Mhairi Black and local candidate Miriam Brett used an informal Q&A session in Lerwick on Tuesday night to outline the case that their party is best placed to oppose the Tories’ spending cuts, welfare reform and plans for a hard Brexit. 

The pair, who have formed a close friendship while working together at Westminster over the past two years, took questions from an overwhelmingly supportive audience – though a few folk from differing political persuasions were present too – at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

Tory candidate: election not a two-horse race

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Conservative candidate Jamie Halcro Johnston could become a list MSP if party colleague Douglas Ross succeeds in the Moray constituency. Photo: Shetland News/Chris Cope.NORTHERN Isles Conservative election candidate Jamie Halcro Johnston says he is “very confident” that fishing will not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.

The Tory candidate is calling on those frustrated with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to give him their vote and claims election rivals Alistair Carmichael and Miriam Brett “both want to essentially stay in the CFP”.

Carmichael: people on doorsteps more concerned about second indyref than Brexit

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Alistair Carmichael outside his campaign office across from the Great Wall restaurant on Monday afternoon. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.OPPOSITION to a second referendum on Scottish independence has been a bigger issue than concern about Brexit on doorsteps in Shetland and Orkney, according to Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael.

Carmichael, who is defending an 817-vote majority in a seat he has held since 2001, said he expected a “close contest” with SNP candidate Miriam Brett and said it was “one that I am fighting hard to win”.

SNP candidate Brett makes ferries pledge and vows to run positive election campaign

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Twenty five year old SNP candidate Miriam Brett, who has been working as a senior economic adviser for the party.THE SNP’s Northern Isles election hopeful Miriam Brett has pledged to push for new deals to be struck for funding Shetland’s internal ferries and to reduce fares on the NorthLink route to the Scottish mainland if she is elected next month.

Twenty five year old Brett is seeking to unseat Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael on 8 June – and she told Shetland News she would not be seeking to exploit her opponent having lied about sanctioning the leak of a private government memo relating to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the 2015 campaign.

Carmichael won two years ago with a much-reduced majority of 817 votes over the SNP’s Danus Skene as Scotland’s political landscape shifted in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum. That resulted in the election outcome being unsuccessfully challenged in the Court of Session.

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