Tuesday 25 June 2024
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General Election 2024 / Robert Leslie

Scottish National Party

Robert Leslie

Voters in Orkney and Shetland have an opportunity on the 4th of July to break the habit of being tied to a Westminster system that isn’t delivering for these islands.

A vote for me and the SNP would set a course for a new Scotland with a fairer, greener and more equal future for all.

There is a choice here between someone who will be a bystander to the continued chaos of broken Brexit Britain, and someone who is committed to build a fairer future for folk across these islands.

More of the same would not do amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis largely driven by Tory mismanagement of the UK economy and the emerging cost of Brexit.

Taking decision-making powers closer to where the issues are – which is what independence is about – is at the core of my campaign, with public ownership of energy, a route back into the EU, and more powers for the islands.

I would say to folk who usually vote Lib Dem, Labour, Tory or Green – if you’re still angry about how Scotland was ripped out of the EU against our will, lend me your vote as the candidate whose party provides the only route back in.

If folk across Orkney and Shetland want to escape Brexit and return to the largest single economic market in the world, then I am the candidate to vote for.

Taking energy into public ownership is an urgent priority, so that we can make Scotland’s energy work for householders, not shareholders.

The UK’s broken private energy system isn’t delivering for Orkney and Shetland.

Folk should not be rationing energy – going cold in their homes and without hot meals – in these energy-rich islands.

Fuel poverty, which has rocketed in Orkney and Shetland, needs to be tackled as a public health issue. The energy crisis is damaging the lives of folk in these islands, with breathing problems developed by children living in cold, damp homes following them into adulthood.

The status quo is indefensible.

Driving down electricity costs would also drive down child poverty. The SNP is lifting an estimated 100,000 children out of poverty this year.

Parents have told me that the Scottish Child Payment – unique in the UK – has made it possible to put the heating on for their bairns coming home from school, which in turn makes them feel better. That should not be a choice parents have to make in energy-rich Orkney and Shetland.

The SNP stands for rejoining the EU.

The choice is a continuation of broken Brexit Britain with repeated cost-of-living crises, or a new Scotland in the world’s largest single market.

Scotland’s route back into the EU would also be the opportunity for the islands to win more powers, which I know there is an appetite for in Shetland.

I wouldn’t be standing in this election if I didn’t think that Orkney and Shetland would benefit from being part of a normal, independent country as part of the EU – but with more powers held locally.

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