Greens choose new candidate to stand for Edinburgh Central in Holyrood elections

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater is to stand in Edinburgh Northern and Leith at the Holyrood elections in May, replacing Andy Wightman who quit the party last month complaining of “intolerance” in the debate over transgender rights.
Lorna Slater will stand in Edinburgh Northern and Leith   Pic Lisa FergusonLorna Slater will stand in Edinburgh Northern and Leith   Pic Lisa Ferguson
Lorna Slater will stand in Edinburgh Northern and Leith Pic Lisa Ferguson

Ms Slater was selected by local party members to stand in the seat, currently held by the SNP’s Ben Macpherson, who had a majority of 6,746 at the last election in 2016.

A Leith resident, she is an electro-mechanical engineer working in marine renewable energy, most recently project-managing the construction of powertrains for the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, which is currently being assembled in Dundee.

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She stood for the city council in the Leith Walk by-election in 2019 and beat Labour for second place. She was elected co-leader of the party with Patrick Harvey later the same year.

She said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to run in the place I call home.

“Voters in Edinburgh North and Leith frequently see property developers put before people, our streets showing illegal levels of traffic pollution and our skies lit up by the Mossmorran gas plant in Fife. We have too many short-term lets and not enough affordable housing. That’s why we need a local Green MSP that pushes the SNP to take action on these issues and the climate emergency.

“We do things differently in Leith. I’m excited that this is the first time in the constituency vote here that voters will have the option to back the bold proposals the Scottish Greens have, for our future, for rejoining the European family as an independent country and leading the charge on renewable energy.”

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Mr Wightman, who was elected as a Lothian list MSP in 2016 and now sits as an independent, had been selected for the seat in September.

At the same time, the party announced fellow list MSP Alison Johnstone would stand in Edinburgh Central, where the current MSP, the Tories’ Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson is standing down and Angus Robertson is the SNP’s candidate expected to win the seat. Ms Johnstone also stood in Central in 2016 and was blamed by some for splitting the pro-independence vote, allowing Ms Davidson to win what had been an SNP seat.

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