Scottish elections 2021: why East Lothian’s top three party candidates became MSPs
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Paul McLennan of the SNP won the Labor Party constituency with a majority of 1,179 – the first seat to change hands in last week’s results – but Labor candidate Martin Whitfield and Tory Craig Hoy were both elected to the Scottish Parliament on the South of Scotland list.
And as the new MSPs began their two-day induction, the trio said they hoped East Lothian would benefit from having all three of them a Holyrood.
McLennan said he was “ecstatic and incredibly humble” to have been elected as the constituency MP. Along with the recovery from Covid, he defined his priorities as promoting economic development in the county and fighting child poverty.
“One is to create wealth and create jobs, but there are also 5,000 poor children in East Lothian and we need to focus more on that.
“Everyone sees East Lothan as a fairly prosperous region, but it’s like a microcosm of Scotland to me – there are prosperous regions, but there are areas we need to work hard on.
Edinburgh 2021 election: Capital now has four SNP MSPs, one Labor and one Lib …
He said it would be “weird” to see his old rivals among the other new MSPs.
He said: “There are some responsibilities for constituency and list PSMs, but I’m sure in areas we can work on together we will.”
Mr Whitfield’s first job on Monday morning was to attend Dirleton Primary School, where he has taught since losing his seat as MP for East Lothian, to say goodbye to his P7 class.
Besides standing in East Lothian, he was third on Labor’s South Scotland list and has just entered parliament with the last of the region’s seven seats. “It was very tight – less than 200 votes in it,” he said.
He said his priority would be young people and helping to ensure that children can return to “whatever the new normal.” “It is up to politicians to make sure this can happen and that our young people are supported.”
He said it was an “amazing coincidence” that three of Eat Lothian’s candidates are now MPs and said he hoped they could find a consensus.
“When we look at the things we agree on – a new Haddington station is the most obvious – it means that instead of one person sitting in the room with the relevant minister, there should be three of us. that when we come to fight for adequate funding for local communities, there would be three of us, I hope.
Tory Craig Hoy was third on his party list, but the two candidates above him were elected in the constituencies. He was therefore the first of three successful Conservatives in the south of Scotland to be given a list seat.
He said education and business would be two of his main areas of focus.
And of the unusual East Lothian MSP trio, he said: “It’s almost like buses – you vote for one and three come in at once.
“You can expect to see healthy competitive engagement and I think that means East Lothian will be better served.”