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Politics / Leslie selected again to fight Northern Isles seat for SNP

SNP candidate Robert Leslie.

THE SNP in Orkney and Shetland have named their candidate selected to compete for the Northern Isles sear in the next general election.

Robert Leslie, who came second in the 2019 contest in the islands, will again vie for votes in the constituency.

It is likely that the next general election will be held in 2024.

Leslie, 53, is an energy officer at Orkney Housing Association and a former reporter and editor at the Orcadian, Orkney Today and the Orkney Farmer.

He was born and brought up in Orkney and attended Kirkwall Grammar School, later completing a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies through The Open University.

Speaking after he was nominated at the first meeting of the Orkney and Shetland SNP campaign committee, Leslie said: “With the London-based parties all standing against the democratic will of the Scottish people to have their say on Scotland becoming a normal independent country, independence will be front and centre of my campaign.

“It’s time to unshackle ourselves from Westminster, where the Tories have wrecked the UK economy through Brexit and a disastrous mini budget that tanked the pound and caused the UK’s EU divorce bill to soar by tens of millions of pounds.

“This has created a crippling cost-of-living crisis, meaning folk across these islands are struggling with household costs and mortgages, and there is no sign that a change of government at Westminster will make things any better.”

He said that “along with being pulled out of the EU against our will, one of the biggest issues faced by households and businesses across the Northern Isles right now is energy costs”.

Leslie said he would advocate “taking energy into public ownership in an independent Scotland, so that we can make Scotland’s energy work for Scotland’s people, not shareholders”.

The Northern Isles seat at Westminster has been held by Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael since 2001.

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