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Lochhead seeks re-nomination as Moray SNP candidate for Holyrood

By Lorna Thompson

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RICHARD Lochhead MSP has announced that he will once again put his name forward to be the SNP’s candidate for Moray in next May’s Scottish elections.

Mr Lochhead said it had been a privilege to serve as an MSP since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999 – first as a regional MSP for North East Scotland and then as Moray’s MSP since 2006.

He said so much had been achieved – but there was still much to do to cope with the challenges of Covid-19, climate change, Brexit and an ageing population.

He added: "Working with the SNP Government, a great deal has been achieved for Moray.

"One of the first campaigns I took on in 2006 was the desperate shortage of NHS dentists, with tens of thousands of children and adults unable to access NHS dentistry. That became a priority of the first SNP Government in 2007 and the availability of NHS dentistry in Moray and across Scotland was transformed.

"The SNP has supported huge investment in flood alleviation schemes across Moray, which have already proven their worth on several occasions.

"We’ve also seen thousands of new affordable houses built, an improved rail network, the roll-out of superfast broadband. We’ve built the Fochabers bypass, new health facilities and schools, to give just a few examples.

Moray SNP MSP Richard Lochhead.
Moray SNP MSP Richard Lochhead.

"I have campaigned on the scandalous rip-off parcel delivery surcharges that are faced by consumers in Moray and worked with the local community to secure funding for the new footbridge in Lossiemouth that’s now going to be built."

Mr Lochhead said he and his team had helped thousands of constituents through these past difficult months.

He added: "We are still in the midst of the global pandemic and we need to work together to get through this. Even before Covid, many local families have faced tough times.

"Moray has a lot going for it. We have fertile land and marvellous landscape and stunning coastline. Our citizens are enterprising and hard-working, and we are home to many famous family businesses and global brands, as well as thousands of small businesses that underpin our economy.

"Our challenge is to protect existing jobs, and attract new ones and to provide our young with opportunities on their own doorstep.

"The challenges of Covid, climate change, Brexit and an ageing population, means there really is a lot to do.

"I’ve always strived to be a fully committed, hard-working and empathetic MSP. That’s what Moray needs. In an age of populism that scapegoats low-income families and the vulnerable, or people from other countries, I’ll continue to speak up for social justice and equality.

"If re-selected as SNP candidate for Moray, I will focus on building a better society and a better planet for future generations to inherit.

"Westminster’s credibility is in freefall, and as opinion polls show, Scotland is charting a different path. I believe that in the next parliament, we’ll have the chance to join the international family of nations, in our own right, with the ability to take more decisions for ourselves that reflect our own priorities."

Promising to work "flat out" to make Moray and Scotland better if re-selected as the region's SNP candidate, he added: "The 2021 elections in Moray will no doubt be a tough election and I will take nothing for granted."

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