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Politics / Proposed new party has no plans to stand in next Holyrood election

THE COUNCILLOR behind plans for a new political party in Shetland has clarified that there are no plans at this stage to put anyone forward for the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.

North Isles member Ryan Thomson said the proposed Shetland Regional Democratic Party could be more likely to enter candidates for the 2022 local council elections.

The party would aim to see decisions affecting people in the isles be made as “locally as possible”.

Despite initial aims including providing Shetlanders a “proper, accountable voice in Holyrood and Westminster” Thomson said the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections could come too early.

“There are certainly no plans to stand anyone in the Holyrood election in 2021, unless things grow arms and legs very quickly which with the Covid pandemic and Brexit looming is unlikely,” he said.

Last week The National published a comment piece from islander Mathew Nicolson looking at whether the party could attract votes from Liberal Democrat supporters, and therefore give the SNP a boost locally.

Thomson said in response that there are an “incredible amount of disenfranchised, politically homeless individuals at the moment, and there is a solid foundation of support for something different”.

“There are other parties where votes can potentially be up for grabs too,” he added.

“There are, I’m sure, a lot of moderate Tories who are disgusted with the direction Boris Johnson has taken the party. Labour’s result at the by-election last year too shows they are dead now in Shetland.

“There is plenty of people looking for change. Recognising that our needs here are unique here in Shetland, and need something that will work for us.”