SHETLAND and Orkney independence campaigner Stuart Hill has confirmed his intention to stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming General Election on 8 June – despite describing the election taking place in the Northern Isles as “illegal”.
Hill has been campaigning on constitutional matters since arriving in Shetland in August 2001 after being rescued from his capsized dinghy Maximum Exposure about 50 miles west of the isles.
He has also been a regular in the dock at Lerwick Sheriff Court in his attempts to challenge the court’s jurisdiction over the islands.
The 74 year old claims that there is no proof that Orkney and Shetland has legitimately ever become part of Scotland, and thus the islands were free to declare independence without the approval of either the UK or the Scottish governments.
Last week Hill said he had notified the authorities that in his view holding the election in Orkney and Shetland was illegal and the result was therefore “null and void”.
On Tuesday though, the Cunningsburgh pensioner said electing him as the MP for Orkney and Shetland would be quickest way for both island groups to gain independence.
“All the other candidates in the election are endorsing the current system,” he said.
“What I am saying is that the current system simply doesn’t exist here and this is the best chance people in Orkney and Shetland will ever have to vote for independence.”
He added that a discussing on autonomy, hosted by the Althing debating society 10 days ago, had triggered his decision to put his name forward.
At the meeting, a majority of those present were in favour of exploring the various options for greater autonomy although a large majority were of the opinion that “now is not the time” for autonomy.
Hill said: “I have been waiting for people to give an indication. Now is the time, but it will never happen unless I take some action.
“My winning will be a mandate for instant independence and we can start building a new society here.”
Hill has set up a campaign website at www.shors.org and intents to embark on a full election campaign including “knocking on doors” in Shetland and Orkney.
The other candidates are: Robina Barton for Labour, Miriam Brett for the SNP, Alistair Carmichael for the Liberal Democrats, Jamie Halcro Johnston for the Conservatives and Robert Smith for UKIP.