Edinburgh Lib Dems choose former nurse as candidate in coming council by-election in Corstorphine/Murrayfield

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Lib Dems favourites to win Edinburgh council by-election

Liberal Democrats in Edinburgh have chosen a former NHS nurse as their candidate for the Corstorphine/Murrayfield council by-election.

The Lib Dems are favourites to win the contest on March 9 after they topped the poll in the ward at the council elections last May and won two of the three seats there. They have selected Fiona Bennett, a former nurse, specialising in mental health care, who has also been a leading volunteer campaigner for refugees and currently works as a senior caseworker for Lib Dem MP Wendy Chamberlain. She lives in Edinburgh with her family.

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The by-election was caused by the resignation of former Lord Provost Frank Ross, who had been SNP councillor for the ward since 2012, who quit the council 24 hours after the SNP controversially blocked a compensation scheme for Roseburn traders who were badly hit by a major council infrastructure project for a new cross-city cycle route.

Former nurse Fiona Bennett has been a leading campaigner for refugees and now works for an MP.Former nurse Fiona Bennett has been a leading campaigner for refugees and now works for an MP.
Former nurse Fiona Bennett has been a leading campaigner for refugees and now works for an MP.

Ms Bennett said: “I am delighted to have been chosen to stand in this by-election. The Liberal Democrats have such a strong track record of local service in Corstorphine and Murrayfield. The huge increase in our vote during last year’s election shows that people appreciate the year-round hard work and communication which only the Liberal Democrats provide locally. Whether it’s fixing our broken roads and pavements, action on air pollution, measures to tackle flooding, or supporting local traders, there’s so much to do. I’m looking forward to the campaign ahead and being out and about listening to local residents."

If Ms Bennett is elected, it will increase the Lib Dem group on the council to 13, after it doubled from six to 12 at last year’s council elections.

Christine Jardine, Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, which includes Corstorphine and Murrayfield, said: “Fiona would be a fantastic councillor for Corstorphine and Murrayfield. I’m so pleased she has been chosen as our candidate. As a former NHS nurse, Fiona has a strong track record of service and understands the importance of helping people. Her voluntary work on refugees has shown her to be a powerful and committed campaigner. With all that energy and experience, I know she’ll fight hard for local residents and form a strong team with existing councillors, Alan Beal and Euan Davidson.”

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Ms Jardine said it was clear the by-election was a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and the SNP. She said: “People have an important chance to send a message to the SNP which is slashing the funding of core local services at a time when our roads are a mess and our schools desperately need investment. By voting for Fiona and the Liberal Democrats, people in Corstorphine and Murrayfield can use this election to demand better.”