Edinburgh Tory councillor chosen to stand against Joanna Cherry

Surprise selection to challenge SNP in Capital's most marginal seat

Friday, 1st November 2019, 5:00 pm
Callum Laidlaw is councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar
Callum Laidlaw is councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar

TORY councillor Callum Laidlaw has been chosen as the Tories’ candidate to challenge the SNP’s Joanna Cherry in Edinburgh’s most marginal seat.

He will seek to overturn the 1097 majority which Ms Cherry won in Edinburgh South West in 2017.

Fellow Tory councillor Susan Webber, who represents Pentland Hills ward, had been tipped for the task. But after a curtailed selection procedure, understood to involve a ring-round of key party members in the constituency, Cllr Laidlaw was named as the candidate.

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Joanna Cherry has been MP for Edinburgh South West since 2015

He said he expected “quite a battle”. But he continued: “I think there are a significant number of people in areas where perhaps the Conservatives have been less strong, who see us as the party that will respect and protect the 2014 vote to remain in the UK.

”The constituency needs someone to be a real champion for local issues. The current MP has been very focused on constitutional matters.

”It’s the constituency in Scotland with the highest number of start-up businesses. I’ve had a career in business and I can ensure that as the UK leaves the EU, Edinburgh has a voice going into these discussions about trading relationships and more direct investment.”

Cllr Webber said she was disappointed but would be supporting him in the campaign.

Cllr Laidlaw said: “Sue is a great local councillor and I look forward to working with her.”