A former Liberal Democrat heavyweight in Shetland has defected to the SNP, giving the nationalist party a pre-election boost.
Peter Malcolmson, who was a councillor earlier this century when the SIC served as a Lib-Dem controlled local authority, has given his backing to the SNP’s candidate for Orkney and Shetland. He described Miriam Brett as “young, able, knowledgeable and very well connected”.
He insisted he has not walked away from the Lib Dems, insisting the party instead walked away from him when it went into coalition with the Tories.
“Most folk would think that Peter Malcolmson is a Liberal Democrat,” he said.
“I was. I didn’t leave the Liberal Democrats. They left me. They left me behind when they joined with the Tories, and I simply could not thole that, and I resigned forthwith.
“I’m now in a position where, looking at what’s happening in Scotland at the moment, I feel that we here are in an immediate period of unprecedented uncertainty.
“We are, for example, on the wrong side of a Brexit vote. Sixty-two per cent of us voted to remain. We are also facing an opportunist snap general election. If what comes out of that is an increased majority for the Tory party south of the border, I can only think people south of the border will have decided their own future, and their own destiny. I think, on the face of that, Scotland must do the same.
“The only way, I think, we can preserve the future for ourselves is to look at independence. And to do that, we must support our local candidate. Miriam Brett is a young, able, knowledgeable and very well connected young person, and I think she is the one who will help secure Shetland and Orkney for the future of this constituency.”
Meanwhile, a Crowdfunding page has been set up to “help Miriam Brett become MP”.
The appeal has been set up by Shetland SNP branch secretary Angela Sutherland, and has already raised almost £4,000 to help cover rental costs in both Orkney and Shetland during the second half of the campaign.