Susan follows her father’s route into politics at election

Alastair Paisley and his daughter Susan

Alastair Paisley and his daughter Susan

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She will be left in no doubt as to what she’s letting herself in for.

Because for Susan Dewhurst, it’s a case of like father, like daughter as she prepares to enter the world of politics.

With dad, Councillor Alastair Paisley, hanging up his political reins after 16 years of service, his eldest child is hoping to snatch them from the peg as she vies for a seat in the council election.

Ms Dewhurst has decided to follow in her father’s political footsteps as she stands for the first time in the Sighthill and Gorgie ward.

In what is believed to be the first scenario of its kind in the city council’s history, the 47-year-old Conservative candidate will battle veteran councillors, including Eric Milligan, to continue her family’s influence in the City Chambers.

Ms Dewhurst, who lives five minutes down the road from her father in Baberton Mains, said: “One of the reasons I’m standing is because my dad is stepping down. I’ve seen over the years what he’s done and what the post is made of.

“It’s been mentioned a few times that I should stand but I’ve always resisted, in many ways because my dad was a councillor and it would seem almost like going into the family business, which I didn’t want to do.

“But I’ve been involved in the Girl Guides in Sighthill and Gorgie ward for the past four and a half years, I’ve got to know the people, and it became clear that standing was the right thing to do.”

Ms Dewhurst said that, although she is her father’s daughter in some ways, she would make the role her own.

She said: “I did have a worry about being seen like my dad, but I don’t have that concern now. I’m not my dad, although I am similar to him.

“My dad was a salesman and he’s got the gift of the gab. I’ve got a bit of that, in terms of raising money for the Guides.”

She added: “I think Sighthill Gorgie ward deserves a visible councillor. When I’ve been going round doors I found [current councillors] weren’t really known by all.

“There are four elected members in this ward, but locals didn’t know who they all are and what they can do for them. I want to get out and about.”

Councillor Paisley, currently representing the Pentland Hills ward, said he was happy to retire and watch his daughter campaign.

“She’s interested in people and she’s interested in helping people and will make a good councillor,” he said.

“She’s taking the campaign extremely seriously and is already at me to get things repaired. If someone tells her there’s a pothole in their street, she will bring it to me and I’ll go to the roads department and ask them to look into it.”

Councillor Paisley admitted he would miss politics.

He said: “I’m standing down because I’m 74 and I need to look after my health. I will miss it a lot but I found the big wards quite hard going and I feel I deserve to spend some time with my wife.

“I think the main thing I achieved during my career was looking into how money was being spent and uncovering, time after time, that it was being squandered.

“I have tried to be a guardian of the public purse and the public pound – and I think I’ve been relatively successful.”