Tories choose their candidate to fight North Isles seat

The Conservatives have named Jamie Halcro Johnston as Tory candidate for Orkney and Shetland in the UK general election on 8th June.

Mr Halcro Johnston, who is self-employed and works between Edinburgh and the family farm in Orkney, has contested the Orkney seat at the last two Scottish Parliament elections.

The 42 year-old works as a freelance consultant and has previously served as an advisor to various Conservative MSPs.

He last stood for election to the UK Parliament in 2005 when he contested the Moray constituency.

But he also stood for election to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and 2011, when he campaigned unsuccessfully for the Orkney seat. He also stood in 2007 for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber.

Mr Halcro Johnston will compete against Alistair Carmichael, who has, as expected, been confirmed as Lib Dem candidate for the isles.

Labour and the SNP have not yet named their candidates for the campaign.

Commenting on his selection, Mr Halcro Johnston said “I’m delighted that the local associations in Orkney and in Shetland have put their trust in me.

“Both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP will predictably try to portray this contest as a two-horse race but, with polling showing one in three people in Scotland are now backing the Scottish Conservatives, this just isn’t the case.

“Whether it’s Ruth Davidson’s robust opposition to the SNP at Holyrood, or Prime Minister Theresa May’s strong stance against Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for a second referendum on independence, it’s the Conservatives who are standing up to the SNP and their divisive plans to break up the United Kingdom.

“At this election, voters in Orkney and Shetland will have a simple choice to make: elect a Conservative MP whose party has respected the democratic decision of the EU referendum and which is now focused on negotiating the best possible deal for the whole of the UK.

“Or vote for a Liberal Democrat candidate whose party is committed to holding yet another referendum, or an SNP candidate whose party wants to break up the UK and take an independent Scotland straight back into the EU – regardless of how bad a deal they’re offered.

“Electing a Conservative MP to represent Orkney and Shetland will also send a clear message to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that the Northern Isles value Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom and oppose their divisive plans for a second referendum on independence”.

Chairman of the Shetland Conservative Association, Maurice Mullay said: “In the forthcoming general election, we are delighted to have a Conservative candidate for Orkney and Shetland of the caliber, quality and experience of Jamie Halcro Johnston.

“It is gratifying to have as the Conservative candidate, a born and bred islander with an outstanding understanding of island industries and issues and an exceptional understanding of local and national politics.

“His business background, ability, confidence, and enthusiasm for the tasks ahead, are a tremendous asset.

“Jamie will be a strong voice for Shetland and, as our Conservative MP, will make sure Shetland’s issues and concerns are always raised at the heart of government.”


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