CONSERVATIVE MSP for the Highlands and Islands Jamie Halcro Johnston has taken issue with statements made by the UKIP candidate for the forthcoming Shetland by-election.
Visiting Shetland for the first time on Wednesday to hand in his nomination papers, Stuart Martin said he was the only credible anti-EU candidate – describing the other seven candidates, including the Conservatives, as pro-EU.
Responding to the comments at the same time new UK prime minister Boris Johnson appointed his pro-Brexit cabinet, Halcro Johnston said the Scottish Conservatives were the only party that could deliver on Brexit.
“This is a pretty poor start to the campaign for Stuart Martin, the person UKIP have found to send up to Shetland,” Halcro Johnston, who voted for ‘remain’ during the Brexit referendum, said.
“Scottish Conservative candidate Brydon Goodlad is a Shetland man who voted leave at the referendum and is committed to delivering on the decision made to leave the EU.
“And the Scottish Conservatives are the only party who can implement the result of the referendum and bring the UK out of the EU, as well as leading opposition to SNP plans for an unwanted second referendum on independence.
“Meanwhile a rump UKIP, rudderless and polling less than two per cent in Scotland, descends ever further into the politics of the far right.
“I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come from the UKIP candidate and that, for his next visit to Shetland, he’s done his homework a little better”.
Goodlad, who works as a builder, has not entered the election campaign yet but is expected to do so at the weekend.
So far eight candidates have put forward their names for the by-election, which takes place on 29 August. They are in alphabetical order: Johan Adamson (Labour), Brydon Goodlad (Conservative), Stuart Martin (UKIP), Debra Nicolson (Greens), Ian Scott (Fight Austerity, Save Our NHS, Save Our Welfare State), Ryan Thomson (independent), Tom Wills (SNP), Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).