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Election / Campaign round-up 3 May 2021

Scottish Labour candidate Martin Kerr.

SCOTTISH Labour has unveiled a Highlands and Islands manifesto which includes a promise to invest in Scotland’s ferry fleet and devolve more powers from Edinburgh to local communities.

Party leader Anas Sarwar said: “For many communities in the Highlands and Islands the pandemic exposed the challenges they have long faced.

“From poor digital connectivity to isolation to barriers in healthcare access, the difficulties posed by the pandemic are by no means new to communities in the Highlands and Islands.

“The Highlands and Islands cannot afford another five years of bickering about the same old arguments. The next parliament needs to be focused on rebuilding your economy and your communities after Covid.”

The manifesto can be read here.

SNP candidate Tom Wills

SHETLAND SNP candidate Tom Wills, meanwhile, has backed his party’s “mini manifesto” on the environment.

He said that increased funding for peatland restoration, green homes and waste reduction will benefit Shetland.

“Shetland is a prime location for offshore renewable energy and for the production of green hydrogen from it,” Wills said.

“As oil production declines, we must be ready to change grab these new opportunities with both hands.”

Restore Scotland candidate Brian Nugent.

NICOLA Sturgeon “betrayed a lack of knowledge” about Scottish fishing issues when she condemned the failure to reach an agreement between the UK and Norway for 2021, according to Restore Scotland candidate Brian Nugent.

The news that the countries are not continuing past agreements has been welcomed by fishermen locally, although the wider industry is not too happy.

Nugent said: “Is it too much to expect the first minister to back Scottish interests rather than continue her Brexit-bad approach? Not only boring, but, particularly on this issue, just plain wrong.”

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He added that Restore Scotland advocates Scottish waters for the exclusive use of local boats.

Liberal Democrat candidate Beatrice Wishart

LIBERAL Democrat candidate Beatrice Wishart says a “vote for me is a vote for action and change” – not the “status quo”.

Wishart, who was voted in as Shetland’s MSP in the 2019 by-election, said she is keen to move “beyond constitutional arguments” and put the recovery from Covid first.

“Politics has been stuck in a rut and I want us to get out of it and deliver and improve people’s lives once again,” she said.

Wishart added that over the years Liberal Democrat politicians have shown “time and time again what can be done for the islands”.

Conservative candidiate Nick Tulloch.

CONSERVATIVE candidate Nick Tulloch recently held a video interview with Shetland’s two members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The chat, with Leighton Anderson and Jonathan Dorrat, can be viewed here.

He answered a number of questions – including how young people can be supported in the recovery from the Covid pandemic.

THE SCOTTISH Greens have highlighted polls which suggest that every part of the country could have a representative from their party.

Locally people can only vote ‘Green’ on the second regional list for the Highlands and Islands.

In the last parliament term Scottish Green’s John Finnie was elected as a Highlands and Islands MSP.

Co-leader Lorna Slater said: “Every single voter in Scotland has the choice to vote green.

“The climate science is clear, we need to act now, and with more Scottish Green MSPs Scotland can lead the way, but only if we vote like our future depends on it on Thursday.”

The Scottish Parliament elections take place on 6 May. There are six candidates contesting the Shetland seat. They are in alphabetical order: Martin Kerr (Labour), Brian Nugent (Restore Scotland); Peter Tait (Independent), Nick Tulloch (Conservatives), Tom Wills (SNP) and Beatrice Wishart (Liberal Democrats).

To find out more about all the candidates standing in the election, including those on the regional Highlands and Islands list, visit our Scottish Parliament election 2021 page below.

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