Last official visit of Scottish Conservative MSP to the Islands

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Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor recently visited the Western Isles for the last time in his role as representative for the region.

Mr McGrigor recently announced his retirement ahead of the 2016 Holyrood elections.

It brings to an end a long and successful career as a leading figure in the Scottish Parliament where he has served as a Scottish Conservative spokesman on environment, fishing and external affairs.

Talking following his final visit to the Islands as MSP, he said: “With only three weeks before Parliament is dissolved for the election, it was a great pleasure to be in the Western Isles again for what was the last time as an MSP for the Highlands & Islands, having visited so many times over the last 17 years.

“I would like to thank all those constituents and stakeholders in the Western Isles, including in the Western Isles Conservative Association, who have always given me such a warm welcome and such great backing, advice and support. I am very grateful to them all.

“At all times in my 17 years as an MSP I have tried hard to speak up for the Western Isles and for rural communities in the Highlands & Islands who have specific challenges caused by peripherality.

“For the last five years I have been very proud to be Convenor of the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Crofting which provides a very useful voice for our crofting sector in Holyrood.

“I hope its work will continue under new leadership after the election.

“Crofters who attended the crofting forum we organised in Lochmaddy on Saturday have a wide range of issues and concerns that need to be addressed, not least the Scottish Government’s failure to pay basic payments on time, something that is putting massive financial pressure on individual crofters.”

Western Isles Conservative Association Chairman Ranald Fraser, added: ‘On behalf of the AssociationI would like to express our thanks and gratitude to Jamie who has been an outstanding representative for the Western isles and the Highlands and islands as a whole for the last 17 years.

“His steadfast dedication and endeavours for the people in the Gaeltacht has been valuable and appreciated over that time.

“He is a man who ‘straddled’ political colours and made many friends from across the whole political spectrum.

“We will miss his frequent visits to the Isles as well as his impromptu musical performances as the Midnight Shepherd! A true Gentleman, he will be a hard act to follow.”

Pictured is Mr McGrigor with committee members of the Western Isles Conservative Association, who presented him with a ‘shepherds crook’ inscribed to him and with a painting of a salmon leaping for a ‘Goats toe’ fly (Jamie’s favourite).