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Election / Campaign round-up 31 March 2021

Six candidates to contest the Shetland seat at the May elections to the Scottish Parliament


INDEPENDENT candidate Peter Tait is once again to stand for the Shetland constituency in May’s Scottish Parliament election, this time to oppose same-sex marriage.

Peter Tait.

He stood in the 2019 by-election on the issue of the monarchy returning to Scotland and gained 31 votes.

Speaking from his home in Walls he said: “At the last election I stood on an issue that I thought we should be doing as a nation, this time I am standing on an issue that I think we should not be doing as a national community – and that is gay marriage.

“It is by its very nature a more divisive issue that last time, but as a community we have never had the opportunity to oppose it.

“I think it is an issue that alienates our country before God,” he said, adding that he appreciate that attitudes have been changing over the years. “It is against the law of God as written in the bible,“ Tait said.

The final list of constituency candidates for Shetland, meanwhile, has been confirmed.

They are: Martin Kerr (Labour), Brian Nugent (Restore Scotland), Peter Tait (independent), Nick Tulloch (Conservatives), Tom Wills (SNP), Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).

Meanwhile, former new media strategist for the SNP, Kirk Torrance, has been confirmed as the Alba party’s lead candidate on the Highlands and Islands regional list.


LIBERAL Democrat candidate Beatrice Wishart has called on the next Scottish Government to “put the recovery and mental health services first” after new figures revealed 373 self-harm incidents were reported in Shetland over the last five years.

Wishart warned urgent action is needed to prevent a “mental health tidal wave” prompted by the pandemic.

“Staff work incredibly hard to support those who need it, but too often the demand stretches well beyond the resources available. This often means small problems grow and crises can result,” she said.

Wishart, meanwhile, is holding series of virtual meetings for people in remoter islands who want to quiz the candidate.

Confirmed events starting from 7pm so far are below: 

  • Friday 9 April – Foula 
  • Saturday 10 April – Skerries
  • Monday 12 April – Fair Isle
  • Tuesday 13 April – Papa Stour
  • Wednesday 14 April – Fetlar

Anyone who wishes to attend can either email beatrice.wishart@scotlibdems.org.uk or ring 07511 670 492 for more information.


SCOTTISH Labour’s lead candidate for the Highlands and Islands region has called on BBC Scotland to decentralise jobs to the region.

It follows the corporation’s decision earlier this month to move some of its key departments and staff outside London to make the corporation more reflective of the UK as a whole.

Labour’s Rhoda Grant has written to BBC Scotland Director Steve Carson to ask for as many roles as possible from the relocation to be moved out of Glasgow and into the Highlands and Islands.

She said: “We have the opportunity to bring more jobs and employment to the region as we recover from Covid-19 and decentralising jobs and creating opportunities in the Highlands and Islands must be at the heart of our national recovery plan.”


 

SNP candidate Tom Wills welcomed the Scottish Government’s pay offer of four per cent for Scottish NHS workers.

“It is difficult to reconcile the one per cent that the Tories have offered NHS workers with the dedication and the personal risks that these workers have been exposed to while tackling the pandemic,” he said.

“If the Tories can find eye-watering sums to pay for a failing privatised Track and Trace system, non-existent Brexit ferries and weapons of mass destruction, then surely they can find more to reward the NHS. If not this year, then when?”


RESTORE Scotland’s Brian Nugent says the EU has made an “absolute mess of its Covid vaccination programme, and is now casting around looking for someone to blame in a most spiteful way”.

The candidate’s party wants Scotland out of the UK and out of the EU.

“In a crisis, you find out who can do a job and we have found out, in a life or death situation, that the EU cannot do the job,” he said.

“And yet there are political parties that want to take Scotland back into this hopeless bureaucracy.

“Simply put, these parties have not been paying attention to real world happenings.  It is time to accept that we are out of the EU, and that it should stay that way.

“Why back an organisation, the EU, that works against the needs and interests of people in Scotland by threatening vaccine export bans.”

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