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Billy Fox to challenge Tavish as isles’ MSP

Billy Fox.

LOCAL photographer and former oil worker Billy Fox is to challenge Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott for the Shetland seat of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Fox has raised his profile in the islands as the chairman of the anti Viking Energy wind farm campaign group Sustainable Shetland, but says that he will not be fighting the seat on that issue alone.

The 57 year old from Quarff said he will step down as chairman and an active member of the campaign group and fund his election campaign from his own pocket.

Mr Fox said: “My thoughts on various issues have been aired in the local media and with my involvement in Sustainable Shetland my opposition to the Viking Energy wind farm is well known.

“However mine will not be a single issue campaign, nor is it a gimmick to create some form of referendum at the ballot box on Viking Energy.

“Having lived in Shetland all my life and always having a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, I have very real concerns about all issues which affect Shetland and the efforts we must make to maintain the outstanding quality of life in these islands. Number one is looking after our environment.”

His announcement came as it emerged that the Green Party will not be fielding a candidate in Shetland.

A spokesman said that the party “don’t have access to the same kind of funds that the four main parties do” and that no one in the local branch was keen to give it a go.

Instead the Greens hope to attract second votes for their list candidates, top of the list for the highlands and islands being Eleanor Scott.

Labour is fielding human rights lawyer Jamie Kerr from Glasgow and the Conservatives have put up investment banker Sandy Cross, who has farming and aquaculture interests in the isles.

The closing date for nominations is 29 March and the election will take place on 5 May.