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Richard Lochhead put "safety first" to miss Moray election count

By Jonathan Clark

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MORAY SNP candidate Richard Lochhead has said he put "safety first" when deciding to stay away from today's Scottish Parliamentary Election count.

Richard Lochhead is isolating due to his son awaiting a Covid-19 test. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Richard Lochhead is isolating due to his son awaiting a Covid-19 test. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Mr Lochhead's son, who attends Elgin Academy, was coughing during the night and has been advised to get a PCR test by NHS Grampian, which he will take this afternoon.

This does not prohibit Mr Lochhead and his family from going around their business as usual but Mr Lochhead said he wouldn't have felt right putting people at the count at risk, given the coronavirus situation in Elgin at present.

Speaking to the Northern Scot, he said: "I was left with a decision about whether – while awaiting my son's PCR test – I should attend the count, where there is a large gathering, albeit with safety conditions in place.

"If it turned out to be positive I would look back at attending the count. I didn't want to take that risk and it was a case of safety first and being very cautious.

"This has crossed my mind over the last few weeks as I've seen the cases in Moray rising. With my two boys attending Elgin Academy, I'm very aware that at any time your personal circumstances can be affected.

"Many other families across Moray have seen their personal circumstances affected by this virus and it just so happens that this coincides with the day of my count."

Mr Lochhead said he is "constant communication" with his team at Moray Sports Centre in Elgin, where the vote is taking place, and will attend the regional list count tomorrow if possible.

The SNP candidate is defending a majority of 2875 and is up against Tim Eagle (Conservative), Jo Kirby (Labour), Sheila Ritchie (Lib Dems) and Robert Stephenson (UKIP) in the Moray constituency vote.

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