SNP should stop trashing Tavish Scott’s reputation, says Rennie

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called on SNP ministers to stop trashing Tavish Scott’s reputation.

Mr Rennie said SNP chiefs had chosen to criticise the former MSP, who he said had won major concessions for the area.

The MSP has rejoined Lib Dem candidate Beatrice Wishart on the campaign trail today.

“Tavish Scott won concessions for Shetland in parliament at every opportunity. In contrast, SNP regional MSPs stood idle, doing what they were told by their bosses in Edinburgh,” said the Scottish Lib Dem leader.

“Over 20 years Tavish was an excellent MSP for Shetland and SNP ministers should stop trashing his reputation and what he achieved.”

“It is astonishing to see the SNP rewriting history,” he added.

“Tavish delivered so much for Shetland by sheer hard work and putting the merits of the case to ministers of all political colours.

“He won financial support for the internal ferry services after ministers had ignored the council’s plea for help over many years.

“He secured the Air Discount Scheme for locals to cut the cost of flights.

“Tavish successfully fought for a change to the way that rape victims were supported in Shetland.

“He delivered the return of eye care services back to Shetland instead of patients being required to travel to Aberdeen for care.

“These are just some of the issues he has fought for. And only rarely did he get the support of regional SNP MSPs who usually sat idly by instead of standing up for Shetland.”

Responding to Mr Rennie’s comments, SNP candidate Tom Wills said he had the “utmost respect” for Mr Scott.

“I have the upmost respect for Tavish Scott, as a fellow Bressay man, who served Shetland tirelessly for 20 years. I have not, and will not, ‘trash’ his time in office,” said Mr Wills.

“But like all political parties, the Lib Dem’s record is open to criticism. I accept the fact the Lib Dems secured a number of wins for Shetland during their time in administration at Holyrood – just as they must honest with voters that the SNP has achieved a lot for these islands in Government.

“I’ve run a positive and upbeat campaign from the start – we need to get past this kind of negative politics that will only hold Shetland back.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Haswell

    • August 20th, 2019 17:04

    Tavish has been an excellent MSP for 20 years and I respect and admire him for all he has done for Shetland. I also like him as a suportive enthusiast of the work I have done with the young people of Shetland and (I hope) as a friend. But I believe in an Independent Scotland. I hope that one day I might be free to vote for SNP. Lib Dem, Labour, Green (but never Tory) who are all free from the shackles of Westminster. I wonder Willie, if in the heat of an election campaign, you are also trying to ‘trash’ the SNP because they are rattling your cage. Tom Wills has been nothing but positive in his campaign and you don’t credit this because he is breathing down your neck. I know this is a by election for the Scottish Parliament,not Westminster, but many people still find it hard to come to terms with Nick Clegg and his shared bed with David Cameron and U turn on University Tuition Fees. Scotland deserves better!

    • George McMillan

      • August 20th, 2019 23:05

      Tavish was who got you to there but it’s only the SNP who can take you ahead without a Westminster party meddling where they should not.
      The Tories, Labour, Lib Dems are all Westminster based parties who aim to halt true progress. It’s only the SNP that can take you all forward. Passenger subsidies, travel subsidies and integration are key to better. Choose the SNP and in time an independent Scotland can propell us all to an amazing future. Best wishes

      • John HANFORD Haswell

        • August 21st, 2019 16:53

        Not sure, I understand your reply George McMillan. I’m a fully paid up member of the SNP but am being wonderfully positive (just like Tom Wills). It’s so much better for one’s state of mind that the negative paranoia of Willie Rennie

      • Allan Templeton

        • August 24th, 2019 7:11

        It would seem Willie Rennie is `having a go (through the back-door) at the SNP yet again` however, i would remind Willie Rennie and point out to the folks reading here the seemingly `abysmal` record of the leader of the Lib-Dems down South (Willies boss) . . . . Jo Swinson.

        Jo Swinson seemingly voted 11 times for the bedroom tax
        5 times against raising welfare with inflation
        7 times for disability cuts
        26 times for welfare cuts
        8 times against spending on creating jobs for the young.
        Voted for the Tories approx 849 times (and said a statue should be built to Mrs Thatcher.)
        She is a total hypocrite, remind folk of her ‘record’ often and loudly!!

        With that in mind, i feel that i could never support a Party who`s main leader seems to be against the well-being of sick and disabled people, and when in Coalition Nick Clegg helped the Tories to pass the most `brutal reforms` upon the Welfare State ever seen since its inception, the sad fact is: Nick Clegg could have stopped them in their tracks, but sadly chose not to, i can only presume the Deputy badge on his lapel was more important!!

    • Allan Templeton

      • August 25th, 2019 3:11

      Nick Clegg (in Coalition) aided and voted with the Tories for `Total Brutal reforms of The Welfare System` never seen since its inception, leading to`savage axe-man cuts to practically `every` formerly known benefit `Social Security` which now became nicknamed as `Handouts` by rich Tories, implying people on `handouts` (including the genuine sick and disabled) being tarred as `skivers`, shirkers, scroungers, feckless, drains on the taxpayer, blah, blah, oh yes!! Clegg and his Dems went along with it all-right, including the well off, and sadly many, many more in the general public who turned their backs and fell for the Torie rhetoric, hook, line and sinker, and did nothing to help those poor people (shameful) and i would presume: Clegg backed his Tory comrades for all to retain that `Deputy Badge on his lapel, and the sad fact is: people seem to have short memories these days, these welfare cuts, and Clegg again voting with the tories for the raising of Tuition Fees in England after he promised that would not happen, leading him to apologise, people are now falling for their rhetoric yet again it seems, and are actually voting for them again, it really beggars belief!!

  • James J Paton

    • August 20th, 2019 18:01

    ‘Negative politics’ dats a hoot. Pot, kettle. Lyin’ trout der teeth aboot on da independce referendum – project fear and Swinson personally atacking Corbyn as no bein’ fit. He’s a good man at heart, joost no up tae da job ‘o leadership. He’s been ower lang in opposition, even in his ain pairty. Swinson hooivvir is only interestid in wan thing. Swinson.

    Da Lib Dep shaad dir true colours 2010-15, propping up da Tories da med da poor poorer and da rich richer – fact! Eternal shame on dem.

  • Ni Holmes

    • August 21st, 2019 0:19

    Rennie is seeking to trash Tom Willis’ campaign by claiming that he is trashing Tavish Scott’s legacy. Rennie is a vacuous politician who has nothing positive to offer. Most of his claims in his own seat are for other people’s activity and achievements. If he was not hanging on other people’s coat tails he would have little to say. The liberal Democrats are rapidly becoming irrelevant.

    • Eric Sinclair

      • August 21st, 2019 15:18

      I don’t see any evidence in the quotes from WR that he is trying to trash anyone. Tavish Scott is a loss to the Scottish Parliament and Shetland. It saddens me to see the SNP dividing our country and communities by pursuing the narrow policies of division and grievance. This could just about be tolerated if they were running health, education and the police service competently, but instead they are damaging those services and wasting a lot of taxpayers’ money on vanity projects.

      • Alan Reid

        • August 24th, 2019 6:52

        What vanity projects?

      • Allan Templeton

        • August 25th, 2019 5:15

        Hi Eric,
        I would just like to ask you: What Government do you think in the UK is responsible for Free Prescriptions (in Scotland) no bridge Tolls (in Scotland) no Tuition Fees (in Scotland) free nursery for kids (in Scotland) free school meals for kids (in Scotland) free bus travel at aged 60 (in Scotland) its aged 65 (in England) `no bedroom tax (in Scotland) 10 years+ frozen Council Tax (in Scotland) rises are just recent, and were needed for Council’s thanks to Tory under-funding of the Barnett formula, free personal care for the elderly (in Scotland) best NHS Service (in Scotland) lowest crime rates (in Scotland) etc etc, May i suggest Eric that you change your MSM newspaper and find a better alternative, like perhaps: `The National` or/and `The Shetland Times etc, who will happily keep you informed of the `True News` of events/happenings/And Scottish SNP Government Issues!!

    • Peter Hamilton

      • August 21st, 2019 19:24

      The LibDems wouldn’t become irrelevant if they’d work out what they stand for and then stand for it, Ni. Their policies need to come from liberal principles and they should argue for these even when that risks them becoming unpopular.

      Jim Wallace had an honourable voting record on homosexuality in Westminster as our MP, but it wasn’t reported locally. Tavish knows discriminating against girls is wrong, but won’t say anything against it. That is plain gutless.

      Historically the party contained wider shades of opinion – before Labour was established. There’s many decent Conservatives, social-democrats and democratic socialists who regularly stand up for liberal principles. Some of them are in the SNP.

      The LibDems don’t have a responsibility to fight for the middle ground. Where that is shifts. They need to lead intellectually from their principles. Other political parties would then have to adjust around them.

      There is something valuable in liberalism, but LibDems prefer sitting on the fence to staking our their ground. Why can’t they take the odd risk and tell it like it is. For example, they know the latest move by the organisers of the Junior Jarl Squad is outrageous. Let’s hear them ALL condemn it.

    • Bill Adams

      • August 22nd, 2019 10:28

      It was rich coming from Willie Rennie, who is doing his best to trash
      the reputation of his own Lib Dem party, not least due to the tone
      of his performances during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood.

  • Grace McKenna

    • August 23rd, 2019 10:43

    Willie Rennie doing what he does best. Moaning about everyone else’s parties BUT his own
    Jo Swindon has been known to trash many parties well before her leadership and just recently trashing The Labour Party leader

    First and foremost Jo Swindon has trashed many Scottish/UK lives by siding with Tory policies and voting for DWP cuts to vulnerable people, sadly many deaths have occurred due to these welfare cuts and she played a big part supporting these deplorable cuts

    So basically Willie Rennie and his The Lib-Dem party have no room to talk.
    This all sounds like Willie Rennie is very much envious of other successful candidates in Shetland doing a good job for their people


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