Constituency candidates – Ross, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

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Four candidates from Ross, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch are seeking election to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday May 6.

Electors will receive a lilac ballot paper to elect their constituency member. Electors should mark one cross (X) in the box opposite the name of one candidate. The candidate with the most votes wins.

Labour's John Erskine who will try and capture the seat from Ian Blackford. NO F42 John Erskine - Headshot
John Erskine.

John Erskine, Labour and Co-operative Party
Scottish Parliament elections (Constituencies) for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency
Scottish Parliament elections (Regions) for Highlands and Islands region

‘My late grandfather, John Campbell, served on Highland Regional Council as an independent member for Fort William for decades and it was heart-warming to hear first-hand accounts from people he had helped through the years when I was campaigning in Lochaber last week.

‘Whilst handing out leaflets with former Labour councillor Brian Murphy in the Plantation, I met one resident who had moved there 55 years ago and remembered fondly Councillor Campbell and the help he had provided to secure her home.

‘That’s why I’m standing at this election, not to go back to the old arguments about the constitution, but to focus on helping local people and rebuilding as we recover from the pandemic.

‘There is frustration locally that Lochaber is all too often left behind or overlooked by the Highland Council, Scottish and UK Governments.

‘The new Belford Hospital is well overdue and I want NHS Highland and the Scottish Government to set a timeline for construction.

‘The Greensill scandal revealed that the SNP exposed taxpayers to millions of pounds of financial risk and the promised new jobs at the smelter have failed to materialise.

‘Local public transport links have declined, not improved, over the past 14 years as a result of Tory and SNP austerity and our high street is struggling to survive.

‘That’s why this election must be about delivering a national recovery plan that at its heart is about jobs, education, climate, community and rebuilding our NHS.

‘Only by using both votes for Scottish Labour can we ensure we deliver a Parliament that focuses on what our families and communities need.’

Local constituency MSP Kate Forbes, pictured, is appealing for Lochaber residents to help identify the worst sections of the A82 trunk road. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO-F48-KATE-FORBES-A82-02-scaled.jpg
Kate Forbes. NO-F48-KATE-FORBES-A82-02-scaled.jpg

Kate Forbes – Scottish National Party (SNP)
Scottish Parliament elections (Constituencies) for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency.
Scottish Parliament elections (Regions) for Highlands and Islands region.

‘This election is one of the most important in our history.

‘As the vaccination programme continues at pace and restrictions are relaxed, there is much to be hopeful about.

‘In the last few years, I have represented Lochaber tirelessly by listening, acting and delivering results. I’ve spent time with constituents in every corner of Lochaber, from Kilchoan to Knoydart, from Kinlochleven to Roy Bridge.

‘I have worked hard to be as accessible and visible as possible and working together we have achieved a lot. New affordable housing has been built, the A830 has seen improvements and we’ve delivered investment for tourism infrastructure at Glenfinnan, Mallaig, Arisaig and Glen Etive.

‘I commit to tackling the challenges of the next years in the same way. My priorities are to get the economy open and trading safely, continue to see investment in infrastructure, particularly transport, and improve public services in Lochaber.

‘We will deliver 100,000 more affordable homes over the next 10 years and continue to make improvements to the A82, especially between Tarbet and Inverarnan. I’ll also support Highland Council replace the Corran Ferry.

‘I’ll keep up the pressure on NHS Highland for a replacement to the Belford Hospital. We’ll guarantee every young person under 24 years old a job or training. We’ll support entrepreneurs with a new rural entrepreneur fund for businesses in the Highlands or businesses that want to relocate to the Highlands.

‘Competent, trustworthy and experienced leadership is essential for economic recovery in the Highlands.’

Jamie Halcro Johnston. NO_F12_Jamie-Halcro-Johnston-MSP-rural-scaled.jpg

Jamie Halcro Johnston – Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Scottish Parliament elections (Constituencies) for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency.
Scottish Parliament elections (Regions) for Highlands and Islands region.

‘There is a clear choice in this election: whether we spend the next five years rebuilding Scotland after the pandemic or whether that recovery is put at risk by another SNP administration in Edinburgh focusing on another divisive independence referendum.

‘As MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, I will focus on protecting jobs, standing up for our area and building a strong local economy.

‘That work must start now.

‘Scottish Conservatives want to see investment in our NHS, tackling the backlog of operations and treatment and getting projects like the new Belford Hospital completed.

‘We want to see 3,000 more teachers and support for pupils to catch up on what they’ve missed.

‘And we will invest in local roads, with a new bypass route for the A82, and deliver full-fibre broadband across our region.

‘We have shown, together, we can support thousands of local jobs through the furlough scheme and deliver a world-beating vaccination programme.

‘We can achieve so much without the distraction of the politics of division.

‘So I ask you to give your two votes to me and to the Scottish Conservatives to secure our recovery and rebuild our country.’

Denis Rixon

Denis Rixson – Liberal Democrats
Scottish Parliament elections (Constituencies) for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency.
Scottish Parliament elections (Regions) for Highlands and Islands region.

‘I taught in Mallaig for more than 30 years. I owned a bookshop there and am a
Highland councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward.

‘We put recovery first, not Indyref2. The economy in large parts of Skye,
Lochaber and Badenoch has been devastated. The Scottish Government does
not have a good record on business or education.

‘Think Ferguson’s shipyard, Bi-Fab and Prestwick Airport. A huge waste of public money, ships not built, objectives not achieved.

‘Let’s restore our education system to the international status it once enjoyed. The 2018 PISA results showed Scotland behind England in all three categories.

‘Liberal Democrats believe in federalism and a four-nation UK. We want to
devolve power downwards – not just to Edinburgh or even Inverness – but to communities. The middle of a pandemic is not a time for Indyref2. There are great strengths from being part of the United Kingdom. Look at our vaccination roll-out.

‘We want a green recovery. We favour active travel – by foot and bike – but in
our climate, that’s not always practical. So we need to get as many as possible
out of their cars and into buses, subsidised buses, frequent buses, hydrogen-
fuelled buses.

‘We should encourage local food production which saves food miles and supports people who work the land.

‘And then there’s housing. The one thing we hear time and again throughout the constituency is the need to enhance rural housing so that young people can afford to stay here.

‘It’s time for a change.’

As well as returning a Member of the Scottish Parliament in their constituency, electors will be asked to complete a ballot paper to elect seven additional members from the Highlands and Islands Regional List to the Scottish Parliament. The regional ballot paper is peach. On the regional ballot paper, electors vote for a party to represent the region. Voters should mark a cross (X) once in the box opposite the name of one party.

Donna Manson is the Returning Officer for the three constituencies and is the Regional Returning Officer for the Highlands and Islands Region.

For statements from some Highlands and islands List candidates visit our website.