Deputy First Minister back in the isles for campaign
Deputy First Minister John Swinney returned to the isles this weekend as part of the by-election campaign trail.
The SNP politician said his party’s candidate Tom Wills “has run a positive and upbeat campaign”.
The Perthshire North MSP’s visit is the second in a matter of weeks, and follows closely on the heels of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s recent visit to the Cunningsburgh show.
Alongside door knocking, the MSP also took part in the weekly Bressay Park Run with his party’s candidate.
“Make no mistake, we’re the underdogs in this by-election. Shetland has been a Liberal stronghold for almost 70 years, but campaigns are a marathon not a sprint and I’m confident that Tom can go the distance,” said Mr Swinney.
“From day one, Tom has run a positive and upbeat campaign – he’s leading the other candidates by example by rolling up his sleeves to inject some fresh thinking into how everyday life could be improved for islanders.
“I know first hand that Tom has been taking the time and every available opportunity to push his bold plans for these islands with government ministers.
“His passion to make a real difference for Shetland is clear for all to see – that’s why more and more people are moving to SNP, many of them for the first time.
“Of course the Lib Dem candidate is the front runner, but we are continuing to make great strides in closing the gap. Tom is digging in for the final few exciting laps and hopefully running towards success.”
Other SNP politicians in the isles this weekend include depute leader Keith Brown and recently elected MEP Christian Allard, which will be the French national’s third visit to Shetland in just over a month.
Mr Brown said future generations of Shetlanders were being put in danger by hardline Brexiteers at Westminster: “An SNP win here will send the new Prime Minister a very clear message – Shetland’s not for Brexit.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also arrives next week. He will be holding an open public meeting at Shetland Museum on Tuesday at 7pm to discuss the WASPI campaign, as well as joining Mr Wills on the campaign trail.
Ahead of his visit, Mr Blackford called on the UK government to end pension injustice for women in the isles, adding that “WASPI women are guilty of nothing”.
Other party politicians will also be in Shetland for the final full week of campaigning.
Following visits by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and former Scottish leader Jim Wallace last week, current Scottish leader Willie Rennie is back in the isles, alongside Orkney MSP Liam McArthur and Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine.