I believe that the tide is turning and Shetland is ready for change.
The SNP has been working hard to shape a fairer, more prosperous Shetland where people want to live, work and raise a family.
But as a local who grew up in Bressay, I know there’s still work to do.
We need an MSP who can access the heart of government and work constructively to resolve key issues that affect us, like ferry services.
This by-election lets you choose a new MSP until the next Holyrood election in 2021. A short time, but long enough to make progress.
In return for your support, my promise is this: I will show you that an SNP MSP can make a real difference. The Liberals have had 70 years, I am asking for just 18 months to prove myself.
Vote for me on 29 August, and let me show you what can be achieved. In 2021 I can then stand on my record of achievement and hope to be re-elected to continue serving Shetland.
If you trust me as your MSP, within my first two weeks I’ll meet with key figures in the Scottish Government, including Nicola Sturgeon, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, and Derek Mackay, who is in charge of Scotland’s economy.
Whether it’s removing car parking charges at Sumburgh, tackling cabin costs, finding a way forward on internal ferry funding, or fighting to stop Brexit, I’ll work with others to put Shetland’s interests first.
These islands hold so much potential and I want to help Shetland become a global leader in offshore renewables, tackling the climate crisis and kick-starting a green jobs boom in the isles that will benefit everyone.
Sadly Brexit puts all of this, and so much more, at stake. Like the rest of Scotland, Shetland voted remain. Even those who voted to leave were not voting for this No Deal/Trump Brexit that is now on the table. We must protect our place in the EU.
Of course, the EU isn’t perfect – the SNP has consistently opposed the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It needs to be scrapped or fundamentally reformed to give local boats more preference in their own waters. Our fisheries protection fleet needs strengthened and unsustainable practices need to be controlled.
If the CFP was the only thing that the EU had achieved then we might all be Brexiteers. But being part of Europe is about much more than that – our industries depend on EU market access, workers, standards and brand protections.
To tackle global problems like climate change, we need more internationalism, not less.
We are by far the strongest pro-remain party in UK politics and, experience tells us, that when the SNP wins elections, Westminster sits up and takes notice. So let’s send a clear message to Boris Johnson that Shetland says no to this Brexit chaos that puts local jobs and public services on the line.
The SNP will always oppose heartless Tory cuts that make the weak and vulnerable suffer most.
On 29 August the people of Shetland have the opportunity to choose a different path and secure a brighter future for generations to come.
Vote Tom Wills: Vote SNP.