Edinburgh council elections 2022: SNP ex-minister bids to become councillor

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Former Scottish Government minister Marco Biagi is bidding to get elected to the city council.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

The 39-year ex-MSP for Edinburgh Central is among 21 candidates unveiled by the SNP ahead of the May 5 elections.

He has been chosen to stand in Colinton/Fairmilehead ward where the party currently has no councillor.

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Former government minister Marco Biagi is standing in Colinton/Fairmilehead.Former government minister Marco Biagi is standing in Colinton/Fairmilehead.
Former government minister Marco Biagi is standing in Colinton/Fairmilehead.

Council leader Adam McVey hailed the group of candidates – with a few more yet to be announced – as the most experienced, diverse and energetic they had fielded in a council election.

He said: “Team SNP has never looked stronger. When the city needs to do so much to improve our services, meet net-zero by 2030 and finally make poverty history in Edinburgh the people of Edinburgh can have enormous confidence in this team’s ability to deliver for them and their families. We’ll be working hard to take our positive message across our communities and hope the people of Edinburgh to continue to put their trust in the SNP.”

Lord Provost Frank Ross and planning convener Neil Gardiner will stand again in their Cortorphine/Murryfield and Pentland Hills wards after making it onto the approved list despite extra vetting.

New candidates include Dr Shelly-Ann Brown, a leading academic in business and economic research, who is one of two candidates in Craigentinny/Duddingston. Ethan Young, elected there at a by-election in November 2020, is not standing again.

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Martha Mattos Coelho is one of two candidates in Liberton/Gilmerton.Martha Mattos Coelho is one of two candidates in Liberton/Gilmerton.
Martha Mattos Coelho is one of two candidates in Liberton/Gilmerton.

Dr Brown said: “I’ve spent my life working to create positive attitudes and relationships. If elected, I’ll be breaking another BAME barrier and I want to use that to make sure every group in Edinburgh is empowered - ensuring more brilliant women from different ethnic backgrounds are involved in politics.”

Martha Mattos Coelho, a Portuguese New Scot working with charities that support people in need of financial help, has been chosen to stand in Liberton/Gilmerton alongside transport convener Lesley Macinnes.

She said: “As a proud new Scot I am so aware of the anger of our 62,000 family members, colleagues, neighbours and friends who live in Edinburgh and were born in other EU countries.

"While the three unionist parties now all support Brexit, the SNP has stood shoulder to shoulder with us and done everything they can, including on the council, to support us.

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Dr Shelly-Ann Brown is one of two candidates in Craigentinny/Duddingston.Dr Shelly-Ann Brown is one of two candidates in Craigentinny/Duddingston.
Dr Shelly-Ann Brown is one of two candidates in Craigentinny/Duddingston.

"My aim is making sure all EU nationals, like me, know exactly what’s at stake for them and their families at this election.”

Other new candidates include Simita Kumar, a leading health professional working in immunisation, who has been chosen to stand in Southside/Newington, where former education vice-convener Alison Dickie was elected for the SNP last time but has now resigned the group.

And Finlay McFarlane, an award-winning campaigner for support services for male survivors of sexual assault, is the party’s candidate in City Centre ward, where former finance convener Alasdair Rankin is standing down after being forced to take a back seat for health reasons.

This is the full list of SNP candidates named so far:

Almond: Norrie Work

Pentland Hills: Neil Gardiner

Drum Brae/Gyle: Euan HyslopForth: Carrie GoochInverleith: Victoria NicolsonCorstorphine/Murrayfield: Frank Ross

Sighthill/Gorgie: Cathy Fullerton & Denis Dixon

Colinton/Fairmilehead: Marco Biagi

Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart: David Key

City Centre: Finlay McFarlane

Leith Walk: Amy McNeese-Mechan & Rob Munn

Leith: Adam McVey

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Craigentinny/Duddingston: Shelly-Ann Brown & Danny Aston

Southside/Newington: Simita Kumar

Liberton/Gilmerton: Lesley Macinnes & Martha Mattos Coelho

Portobello/Craigmillar: Kate Campbell & Simon Clark Shedden

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