THE Shetland by-election is to be contested by a record eight candidates after the Scottish Greens announced their candidate on Saturday.
Debra Nicolson, from Tresta, is the first candidate the Scottish Greens have put forward to fight for a constituency seat in the Highlands and Islands.
The party said Nicolson is a well-known local face with a good understanding of the day-to-day issues impacting on people’s lives. Nicolson also stood – unsuccessfully – in the 2017 local government election in the Shetland West ward.
She said she was delighted to have been chosen by local party members to contest the by-election, which is taking place on 29 August.
“In recent years the Scottish Green MSPs have secured millions of pounds to support local services in Shetland and millions more to support our inter island ferry services,” she said.
She added that the climate challenge needed immediate action. “In the face of the climate challenge we know things need to change. That’s why I’ll fight for a Green New Deal for the islands.
“Shetland has huge wave, wind and tidal resources and it’s vital that Shetlanders benefit from the job opportunities that come along with these new technologies,” she said.
“Shetland can’t afford to wait for the Lib Dems or the SNP to catch up with what a climate emergency actually means.
“We can’t keep lobbying for tax breaks for oil giants. Actions speak louder than words, and we need to start transitioning to low-carbon jobs now to guarantee our future.”
She added: “From fighting for improvements to the NorthLink service, to demanding that HIAL lives up to its obligations to our communities, ensuring that safe patient transport is always in place and supporting farmers, crofters and fishers in the face of Brexit, it’s clear there’s plenty of issues to tackle, and I look forward to getting started on the campaign.”
Highlands and islands MSP John Finnie said that Scottish Greens councillors are already making a huge impact in Highlands and Orkney councils.
The other seven candidates confirmed to stand in the by-election are in alphabetical order: Johan Adamson (Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Conservative), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Ian Scott (Fight Austerity, Save Our NHS, Save Our Welfare State), Ryan Thomson (independent), Tom Wills (SNP), Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).