Edinburgh Tory leader Iain Whyte selected as candidate for next year's Scottish Parliament elections

EDINBURGH'S Tory group leader Iain Whyte has been selected as the party's candidate for Midlothian North and Musselburgh at next year’s Holyrood elections after being snubbed twice in his efforts to stand in city seats.
Iain Whyte beat Jeremy Balfour for the nominationIain Whyte beat Jeremy Balfour for the nomination
Iain Whyte beat Jeremy Balfour for the nomination

He beat Lothian MSP Jeremy Balfour to win the nomination in the internal vote by Tory members in the constituency.

Councillor Whyte, who has previously sat on the board of NHS Lothian and on Lothian and Borders police board, said it was a “real pleasure” to be selected as the Conservative standard bearer in the seat.

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He said: “I am looking forward to working with our excellent and hard working team of Conservative councillors from both Midlothian and East Lothian to get our message over to the public. As a councillor who has had a role across the Lothians in the past as police board convener and as someone who has been involved in NHS services in these areas, I know that high quality public services are important to people.

“I want to take the fight straight to the SNP in this seat as their record shows they have let things slip on key issues like education and health while they have underfunded our police and councils.

"And with an almost invisible Scottish Labour party having seemingly given up on fighting the SNP’s independence obsession I am sure many more voters will be looking for an alternative that will concentrate in the Scottish Parliament on the issues that matter most to peoples’ daily lives."

Last month the Evening News revealed both Cllr Whyte and Mr Balfour had failed to make the shortlist for Edinburgh Western, where fellow councillor Susan Webber went on to be chosen.

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And Cllr Whyte was also excluded from the shortlist to replace former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson in Edinburgh Central. Another fellow councillor, Scott Douglas, has now been selected to stand there.

At the last Scottish Parliament election in 2016 Mr Balfour was the Tory candidate in Midlothian North and Musselburgh, finishing third but more than doubling the party’s vote. The seat was held for the SNP by Colin Beattie, who has been the MSP since 2011, with a majority of 7,035. Mr Balfour was elected via the regional list.

Mr Beattie is seeking re-election next May.

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