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Sandy Keith and John Divers to stand for Labour in local council election

By Jonathan Clark

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LABOUR has today announced its first candidates selected to fight next year’s Scottish local council election in Moray.

Veteran Labour councillor John Divers (70) has been re-selected to contest Elgin City South, while former Labour councillor and Moray Labour chairman Sandy Keith (55) has been selected to fight for election in Elgin City North.

Sandy Keith is set to stand for election in Elgin City North.
Sandy Keith is set to stand for election in Elgin City North.

It was decided at a meeting of Moray Labour Party on Sunday, October 24, that the duo would stand.

Local council elections will take place in every constituency in Scotland on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

Sandy Keith’s selection marks a return to front-line politics after an almost 15-year hiatus.

Mr Keith was first elected to represent Bishopmill in 1996, and was twice re-elected in the former Bishopmill East Ward, before standing down in 2007 to spend more time with his family.

He said: “When I stood down in 2007, I genuinely thought I was finished with front-line politics.

Sandy Keith at an election count in 2006.
Sandy Keith at an election count in 2006.

"As a Bishopmill resident, however, I have found myself growing increasingly frustrated by the quality of representation we receive in the north of Elgin.

"During my previous terms as a councillor, residents came to expect a high level of service from me. I held regular surgeries, I frequently wrote to residents, and I knocked on doors to speak to residents as often as possible.

"Without meaning to denigrate my successors, I do not believe that we receive the same level of service from our councillors today.”

Commenting on his reselection, councillor Divers said: “I’ve represented the south of Elgin for almost 23 years, and most people know me as a hard-working local representative who will work with whoever it takes to get things done.

John Divers is set to contest the Elgin City South ward.
John Divers is set to contest the Elgin City South ward.

"In the past few years, I’ve fought for more investment in Elgin, improvements in public services, and action on the scourge of seagulls.

"We have seen some progress on these issues, but there’s a lot more work to be done, which is why I’m standing again."

Moray Council has eight wards, with each represented by either three or four councillors. In total, 26 councillors will be elected.

Labour plans to run a larger slate of candidates across all areas. Further candidate announcements will follow.

Labour’s election agent for Moray, Dr Stuart MacLennan, added: “These selections are great news for Labour, for Elgin, and for Moray.

"John has a fantastic reputation as a local councillor, and is well respected by both his constituents and fellow-councillors.

"Sandy is one of Moray’s best campaigners, and even after all these years Bishopmill residents still tell us that he was one of the best councillors they’ve ever had.

"Last time Sandy stood for election he won with 68 per cent of the vote. I am confident that Sandy's record as a councillor and campaigner will see him return to front-line politics.”

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