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The Scottish Liberal Democrats have chosen Neil Mitchison as their candidate for the Western Isles in the next Scottish Parliament election. 

Neil, a Gaelic speaker from Kintyre who spent many years working for the European Commission, stood in the General elections of 1992, 1997, and 2019 in the Western Isles.

Neil Mitchison said: “I am honoured to have been chosen again to stand in the Western Isles. In the islands, as all over Scotland, there are far more people who agree with our policies than who vote for us. I believe it is essential to give everyone in Scotland the chance to vote for those policies, both at constituency and at regional level. Other parties spend much effort on their negative messages - telling electors who they should vote against - while we have a positive message.

“Our principles are universal – but they have particular resonance in the Western Isles, with a community which has long prized education, has supported fairness and inclusion, and is at the cutting edge of climate change. And our support for mental health is especially important in the recovery from the coronavirus lockdowns.

“There are also specific issues which are particularly important in the islands, which have long had difficulty getting their particular needs answered from central Government – a situation which is certainly not helped by having two Governments at war with one another. 

“The shameful failure to build a new interconnector, combined with neglect of the old one - a betrayal of the renewable energy sector; the slow roll-out of rural broadband; the failed provision of new ferries; the failure to think through the constraints of rural transport; the poor supply, and inflated prices, of housing in remote areas; and the sad story of Arnish – these are all matters where islanders feel they have been let down by incompetent or unfeeling Governments, and can reasonably deduce that if they were closer to the centre of power they would have received more attention and more help. 

“The Liberal Democrats have a long and active tradition in the Highlands and Islands, and we will continue to campaign for these matters to be dealt with sensibly and sympathetically by both Scottish and UK Governments.” 

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Willie Rennie, added: "Neil would be a conscientious and well-informed champion for the islands, focused on the real issues that matter to people. 

"People don't need to choose between Boris Johnson's chaotic Conservatives and the SNP who are only obsessed with another independence referendum. There is a third way: the Scottish Liberal Democrats. 

"A vote for us is a vote for putting the recovery first, tackling the public health crisis, creating jobs and making Scottish education the best again."