SNP reveals Argyll and Bute candidate for Holyrood poll

Jenni Minto, the SNP candidate for Argyll and Bute in the 2021 elections to Holyrood

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An Islay resident has been selected as the SNP candidate for Argyll and Bute in next year’s elections to Holyrood.

Jenni Minto, who was born in Elgin and grew up in St Andrews, was chosen by SNP members locally after long-serving MSP Michael Russell announced his decision to stand down after first being elected in 1999.

Jenni, manager of the Museum of Islay Life, said on social media: ‘I am so honoured to have been selected. A massive thank you to everyone who voted for me.’

She also thanked fellow candidates Councillor Rhiannon Spear, Sarah Fanet and Breege Smyth.

‘Thank you to Rhiannon, Sarah and Breege for being great candidates too. Now it’s time to get to work,’ said Jenni.

The process to select a candidate was delayed by both the coronavirus and the tragic sudden death of Argyll and Bute SNP convenor John Macmillan.

The SNP said its focus now is on holding the seat for the SNP and preparing for the Independence referendum to follow.

Anthony Harrison, SNP acting convenor for Argyll and Bute, said: ‘I’m really delighted that Jenni has been selected to stand for the SNP next year.

‘We had a very impressive field of candidates here. Our local members have made the decision and we have an excellent candidate raring to go.

‘As an islander, Jenni brings a unique perspective to the table and understands the key issues facing Argyll and Bute.

‘The SNP in Argyll and Bute are looking forward to campaigning next year in what is a crucial election for Scotland.

‘Our parliament is under attack from Boris Johnson’s hard-line Tories and our communities are facing the challenges not only of the Covid pandemic but of a disastrous hard Brexit, which we in Argyll and Bute rejected overwhelmingly.’

Michael Russell MSP added: ‘I am delighted that Jenni has been selected and I look forward to working with her as she gets to know the people and the communities of this wide ranging and diverse constituency and to campaigning with her as she prepares for next year’s Holyrood election.

‘Living on Islay as she does, she already has a deep understanding of the particular challenges people face here and I am sure that she will make a great, hard-working MSP for everyone in Argyll and Bute.

‘I will miss the privilege of serving my home area in the parliament, but I can think of no one better able to take on that challenge.’


Graduated from Aberdeen University with a degree in accountancy and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1992.

Moved to Glasgow and worked for BBC Scotland for 18 years in a variety of roles supporting programme makers from a business perspective.

Latterly, she was the Business Executive for Gaelic, the BBC SSO and Radio Scotland.

In 2011, she moved to Islay where she became treasurer of Islay Energy Trust. She was part of the team which delivered a community wind turbine on Islay which now provided grants for organisations on Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

She also served on the board of the Third Sector Interface Argyll & Bute.

Jenni is currently the manager of the Museum of Islay Life. In 2018 she chaired the group which organised over 40 different events to commemorate WW1 on Islay.

When Yes lost the referendum, she joined the SNP and helped reinstate the Islay & Jura SNP Branch and has been its convenor since then.

She is also treasurer of the Argyll & Bute SNP Constituency Association.

With her husband, Les Wilson, she edited Islay Voices, an anthology of Islay.

Jenni lives on Islay with Les and their collie, Jim. They enjoy walking, travelling around Scotland and further afield and enjoying local food.