TWENTY five year old Shetlander Miriam Brett has been announced as the SNP’s candidate for the Orkney and Shetland constituency in the 8 June General Election.
Brett was born and bred in Shetland, living between Bressay and Walls, and previously worked in policy research before taking up a post as senior economic adviser to the SNP’s Westminster group. She also played a prominent role in the Yes campaign for Scottish independence in 2014.
She will be looking to unseat Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael in the Northern Isles, where he had an 817-vote majority two years ago. Also standing are Robina Barton for Labour, Jamie Halcro-Johnston for the Conservatives and Robert Smith for UKIP.
Brett and Barton are the first female candidates in the constituency in two decades. Since 1997 there have been four UK General Elections, with every one featuring an all-male ballot.
Brett said: “It was a privilege to grow up in such a unique and beautiful community, and I cannot think of a greater honour than representing my home constituency in parliament.
Thrilled to have been selected as the SNP candidate for Orkney and Shetland. I can think of no greater privilege than representing my home.
— Miriam Brett (@MiriamBrett) April 29, 2017
“People across these isles have needlessly been subjected to harmful, counterproductive cuts under both the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition and the current UK Government.
“We need only to look at the food bank usage across these isles to see the damage that this has caused. The SNP is the only opposition to have consistently voted against austerity, and I will use my voice at Westminster to unapologetically reject these cuts.”
She said the “harsh realities of a hard Tory Brexit pose a very real threat to our communities, from the need to protect EU citizens living in our isles, to the need to ensure that local businesses do not face hardship”.
“The SNP has demonstrated time and time again that we are an effective opposition to the Tories, and will continue to ensure that communities across Scotland have their voice heard.
“If elected, I promise to represent the issues facing our community in Westminster, and to work tirelessly to serve every one of my constituents.”
Commenting on Brett’s selection, which was also hailed by prominent party figures including MP Mhairi Black, SNP Highlands and Islands list MSP Maree Todd said: “Miriam is an inspirational young woman who was a leading light in the Yes campaign. She will be a strong voice for Shetland and Orkney in Westminster as well as a breath of fresh air. A bright young local lass keen to improve her community.”
The SNP’s Shetland branch convener Iain Malcolmson added: “Both Orkney and Shetland branches were very keen to select Miriam as our candidate. She’s extremely able, talented and a real go-getter. We’re very excited about this campaign.”
— Mhairi Black MP (@MhairiBlack) April 29, 2017