The Scottish Conservative candidate fighting for the Western Isles seat in the upcoming General Election on December 12th has been announced as Jennifer Ross.
Growing up in a small village about 20 miles from Inverness and from a small close-knit community, she is well aware of the challenges that face rural populations .
Jennifer has been in senior management at Director level for over ten years, having worked in the rural tourism industry, marketing and education.
She is also an internet entrepreneur, having set up two very successful businesses.
She said: “I have worked with businesses all over Scotland on their development, from urban and online, to rural and ‘one-man-band’ companies.
“I will be a business-focussed MP with a precise aim to help larger industries and smaller family firms to reach their potential.”
As a strong supporter of the ‘Leave’ campaign in the EU referendum, she added: “The fishing industry here has been absolutely hammered by EU regulations and restrictions in the Western Isles. I will fight to make sure that funding is increased for this vital part of the islands’ economy.”
She continued: “Every other candidate is offering a second referendum, or to revoke Brexit. The Western Isles was one of the highest Leave-voting areas in Scotland. I will represent their vote in Parliament. I pledge to respect democracy and get Brexit done.”
In the meantime the Labour candidate for the Western Isles, Alison MacCorquodale highlighted how the next UK Labour government will save free TV licences for almost a quarter of a million Scots who are set to lose it from next year.
From 2020, only those on Pension Credit aged over 75 will qualify for a free licence.
Alison MacCorquodale, said: “The prospect of pensioners being forced to tighten their purse-strings whilst the Tories grant tax-cuts to the rich is a scandal.
“Under a Labour Government, over 1,400 Western Isles households won’t have to find an extra £154 per-year from 2020 onwards.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of free TV licences for the over 75s. Many people who can’t get out and about every day, particularly during winter, rely on the TV as a source of entertainment and information.
“When it comes to polling day, a vote for Labour is a vote for investment in people, services and communities.”
Whilst Labour started to roll out their manifesto menu to local constituents, the local SNP candidate, Angus Brendan MacNeil highlighted the Conservatives’ proposal to raise the pension age to 75 by 2035.
He said: “Under their plans, the pension age would rise to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035 again, giving little time for those affected to plan for their future needs.
“The UK already has the lowest pensions in Europe and leaving the EU will only encourage the Tory Government to reduce further the welfare system, starting with a further attack on pensions, this is surely a Tory risk we cannot take.
“In contrast, the SNP at conference, voted to increase the state pension to match the EU average £355 per week in an independent Scotland.
“In this election, a vote for the SNP is a vote to choose the kind of country we want to live in.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for the Western Isles, Neil Mitchison, declared this election was all about Brexit.
He told the Gazette this week: “We want to resolve Brexit and the Scottish Liberal Democrats believe the only way to resolve it is to revoke Article 50, so we are asking for a mandate from the people for this.
“Stopping Brexit is the only way to get on with building a fairer economy, focusing on climate change and building a brighter future.
“The campaign is only just getting under way but people are very receptive to our clear message about Brexit, and we are already seeing support from long-term Labour supporters, baffled by their stance on Brexit.”