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UKIP to field Robert Smith again

Robert Smith.

THE CONTEST to represent the northern isles in the next UK parliament is set to be another five horse race.

Orkney fisherman Robert Smith confirmed on Wednesday that he is again to stand for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

The chairman of UKIP’s Orkney branch wrote party history five years ago when he secured 6.3 per cent of the vote in Orkney and Shetland and became the only UKIP candidate in Scotland to save his deposit.

Speaking to Shetland News he said he reluctantly had agreed to stand again.

“I am standing because I can’t find anyone else to do it primarily, and think it important to give UKIP voters the chance to vote.

“I’m also very concerned about the erosion of democracy and the rise of power without accountability evident throughout Europe and particularly in Scotland,” he said.

He felt the main issues for the isles were the high cost of living as well as transport links.

Smith added that was unlikely that he would be able to make it to Shetland during the election campaign due to time constraints and work commitment.

But he insisted that it was nevertheless important for him to put his name forward to give local people the opportunity to cast their vote for UKIP.

Meanwhile, the Orkney and Shetland Conservatives are expected to announce their candidate later this week, while Labour is still busy with its internal selection process.

The other known candidates are so far sitting MP Alistair Carmichael for the Liberal Democrats, and Lerwick man Danus Skene who has put his name forward for the SNP.

Earlier this week Skene called on the UK government and the local MP, who as Scottish secretary is a member of the cabinet, to urgently act in support of the oil and gas industry to protect jobs and investments.