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First candidates stake their claim for Moray General Election Westminster seat

By Chris Saunderson

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THE first three candidates confirmed for the Moray General Election have fired the opening shots in the campaign locally.

Thursday, December will be polling day.
Thursday, December will be polling day.

Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative candidate, wants to continue the work he has done over the last two and a half years as MP.

He said: “This is a crucial election to allow us as a country to make decisions and move on. The Parliament prior to the election being called caused delay and uncertainty, I hope to be returned as Moray’s MP to continue to stand up for this area and see our politics move on from Brexit and focus on the issues that matter to people across Moray.

“I was born in Moray and have lived here my whole life, I now have a family of my own here and delivering for Moray is my top priority.

"Since being elected I’ve ensured that our voice has been heard throughout Westminster. In my first 12 months as MP, Moray was mentioned more times in the House of Commons that it had been in the entire 12 years before my election.

Douglas Ross with his son Alistair and Conservative supporters.
Douglas Ross with his son Alistair and Conservative supporters.

"I’ve also made myself as accessible as possible holding hundreds of surgeries in every town, village and community as well as hosting a number of public meetings on a range of issues.

“I’m standing to get Brexit sorted.The vote in the EU referendum in Moray was evenly split in 2016 and most people expected Brexit to be delivered by now.While all the other parties standing only offer more delay and uncertainty, the Conservatives have renegotiated an agreement that will ensure a smooth exit from the EU to allow us to move on from Brexit.

“Moray is a two-horse race between myself and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP.A vote for any other party will only help the SNP who have made it clear this election is all about their plans to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK.

"They are even willing to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister just to get another referendum despite Moray and Scotland rejecting their plans for separation only a few years ago when we were told our decision was a once in an generation choice.

And Mr Ross added: “I’m passionate about Moray, its people and its places.I hope that has come across over the last two and a half years that I’ve been MP and I pledge that passion and commitment will continue if I’m re-elected on December 12.”

The SNP candidate is Laura Mitchell who insists Moray needs a new voice in Westminster.

Ms Mitchell, who was brought up in Keith and lives and works in Elgin said:

Laura Mitchell at the launch of her campaign.
Laura Mitchell at the launch of her campaign.

“Moray needs a new voice in Parliament, someone who will put standing up for our local communities - and not Boris Johnson - first.

“Moray is set to be one of the areas worst hit by Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal and while our Tory candidate will happily toe the line, I would work hard to protect local jobs and stand up for key industries that will be devastated by the Tories’ plans for Brexit.

“It has never been more important that the people of Moray have an MP who will fight our corner and work to protect people from the Tories.

“Beyond Brexit we’ve seen a decade of Tory austerity cause serious damage locally, with families in Moray being pushed into real hardship and poverty.

"Local families deserve better and need a strong voice in Parliament to speak up for them - I’m determined to be their voice in Westminster.

“Now more than ever, we need an MP who is fully committed to Moray and who will speak up for our communities in Westminster. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and dedicate myself to working hard for everyone who lives here.”

Former teacher Jo Kirby is the Labour party choice.

Shesaid: “I am honoured and humbled to have received the unanimous support of local members to stand for Labour. Only Labour has the positive plan we need to transform our economy both nationally and locally, and to build an economy that works for the many, not the few.

Jo Kirby was the unanimous choice for Labour.
Jo Kirby was the unanimous choice for Labour.

“I will be standing to raise the minimum wage to a real living wage, to invest in education and public services, and to protect the elderly and the vulnerable.

“I have spent my whole life working to improve the lives of others, both as a teacher and in my work against poverty. I now hope to continue the fight against poverty and inequality on Westminster’s green benches.”

Mrs Kirby, who lives in Miltonduff with her husband and son, is a well-known local teacher, having previously taught at both Elgin Academy and Milne’s High School. Jo currently works as the lead anti-poverty officer for the Northern Alliance (of councils), as well as an outreach teacher working with vulnerable groups.

ing the real issues affecting the lives of ordinary people.

“What we are offering people is a real alternative to the divisive, austerity-ridden politics of the past.”

The deadline for nominations is 4pm on November 14.

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