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Politics / Green councillor to stand in general election

Alex Armitage will vie for the Northern Isles seat at Westminster

A SHETLAND councillor is to compete to become the Northern Isles’ next MP.

Alex Armitage will stand for the Greens in the upcoming general election, which does not yet have a date set.

He launched his campaign on the anniversary of the Zetland County Council Act 1974, which delivered economic benefits to Shetland from the oil boom.

Armitage, 42, works part-time as a children’s doctor and is also Shetland’s first Green councillor, elected to represent the south ward in 2022.

Shetland south councillor Alex Armitage.

He said his campaign will be based on three economic policies – wealth taxation, a universal basic income and a four day week.

Armitage said: “I’m standing because I want a better deal for Orkney and Shetland, for Britain and for the world.

“Ordinary folk are struggling with the cost of housing, food and energy, our planet’s ecosystems are breaking, yet corporations, multimillionaires and billionaires keep getting richer.

“We need to rebalance our politics and economics in favour of the ordinary folk that do real work and add real value in our society; those who feed us, those who make our homes and provide warmth, those who educate and care for us.”

The councillor also called for priority to be placed on the “threatened climate and natural environment”.

“During the pandemic, our broken economy poured £150billion into the bank accounts of billionaires, whilst at the same time millions of ordinary people have become impoverished; fuel poverty, food poverty, mental illness, burnout,” he added.

“All the while, we continue to tolerate politicians who advocate for more of the same.”

Fifty years on from the passing of the Zetland County Council act of 1974, Armitage said Orkney and Shetland are in the “spotlight” again for its renewable energy potential.

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“As this industry develops around us, we risk being cut out of economic benefits which could be used to sustain our communities,” he said.

“In 2024, we need our political leadership to channel the spirit of 1974. If elected, I will use my voice in parliament to ensure that our communities can control the development of renewables, protect our valuable low-carbon seafood industry and gain a fair share of the value of our natural resources.”

Armitage will join the Shetland Greens for a public campaign launch at the Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick tonight (Wednesday) at 7.30pm, with all welcome to attend.

He will join the Orkney Greens for a similar event in Kirkwall in early May.

The other Orkney and Shetland candidates for the next general election who are publicly confirmed so far are incumbent Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael and the SNP’s Robert Leslie.

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

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