Tag Archives: edinburgh west

It’s the knitwear election in Edinburgh West

People say that the election in Scotland is pretty hostile. They are right a lot of the time, but in Edinburgh West, where Mike Crockart’s campaign HQ is next door to the SNP base, things are much more civilised, as this Twitter exchange between Mike’s campaign manager and the SNP candidate Michelle Thompson shows:

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Mike Crockart retiring? Errr, no…

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Crockart, elected as MP in 2010, has been quick to emphasise that he is standing again for Parliament after a letter sent round by his SNP opponent Michelle Thompson, who was once his boss at finance firm Standard Life, referred to him as the “retiring MP.” She says she didn’t mean to imply that he wasn’t standing. The Evening News has the story:

But Mr Crockart – who worked under Ms Thomson at Standard Life around 15 years ago – said he would fight for re-election on May 7 and blasted the document as “misleading”.

It is the latest spat in a fight that has seen the contenders open campaign offices right next to each other – with Mr Crockart putting up a window display taunting his opponent.
He has also demanded Ms Thomson “correct the mistake” in her letter and ensure nothing else is published with similarly “inaccurate” information.

Mr Crockart was elected as constituency MP five years ago with a majority of 3803 over Labour. He said: “It has been brought to my attention that the SNP candidate for Edinburgh West recently sent a letter to voters across Edinburgh which twice referred to me as ‘the retiring MP’.

“I want to categorically state that I am not retiring. I am fighting this election and intend to be returned as the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West on May 7.

“Whilst I am sure that this poorly chosen phrase has ­simply been misused, I am concerned that the many voters who received this letter could be misled into believing that I am retiring and standing down at this election.”

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Unmasked: The “tall young man” in the Liberal Democrat office

The Guardian has a report today on Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to the SNP office in Edinburgh West – which just happens to be right next door to the Liberal Democrat campaign office on one of the busiest roads in Edinburgh.

SNP supporters from the city and beyond had come to greet Nicola after her excellent performance in the leaders’ debate on Thursday. Severin Carrell, the journalist who wrote the article, alluded to the contrast with the quietness of Mike Crockart’s campaign office where only four people were to be found and made a number of very flawed conclusions about the party’s prospects in Edinburgh West:

But now, to add to the Lib Dems’ discomfort, the SNP’s campaign headquarters is in the old Yes Scotland shop immediately next door to Crockart’s high street office.

And protected behind a privacy screen, four Lib Dem workers stoically continued working away on their campaign, as scores of raucous SNP supporters, their saltires, SNP placards and balloons above their heads, greeted Sturgeon’s arrival.

Crockart was away at a meeting. A tall young man in his subdued office seemed to shrug off the contrast. Were they flustered by the huge crowds outside? “Not really. We had it during the referendum. It’s fine. It’s democracy,” he said.

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Lib Dem MP John Barrett to stand down at general election

Here’s how The Scotsman reports it:

EDINBURGH West Liberal Democrat MP John Barrett is to quit at the next general election. After eight years in the Commons he said he wanted a change and to spend more time in Edinburgh. He was due to tell local party members of his decision at a special meeting this afternoon.

He said: “I’m now 55 and if I do the rest of this term and another one, I’m going to be 60. My health is good and I’m definitely not planning on retiring – but I would like to do something else.” Mr Barrett said it was the right time for himself and for the local party for him to move on. He said: “The constituency is in fine fettle. I had a majority of 13,600 at the last general election, the second largest Lib Dem majority in the whole of the UK after Charles Kennedy – and I always think in politics it’s good to go out at the top.”

Mr Barrett has two grandchildren living in Edinburgh, one of whom is disabled, and he said he wanted to have more time for them. But he pledged there would be no let-up in his efforts between now and the general election. “I will be working flat out for the next year doing everything I have done for the last eight years,” he said.

Lib Dem bloggers have already paid their tributes to John’s work:

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PPC News: Edinburgh West & Bexhill and Battle

Congratulations to John Barrett MP, re-selected to fight the seat next time round, and also to Mary Varrall who has been selected to take another shot at Bexhill and Battle.

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  • User AvatarSimon Arnold 1st Aug - 2:05am
    I see no problem with this issue, it's a natural event, that needs to happen, and, has been happening for many hundreds of years. It...
  • User AvatarJamie Stewart 31st Jul - 11:21pm
    Totally agree that breastfeeding is important, but wondering what the result of the debate was? Opposition to breastfeeding is stupid, and hope that will be...
  • User AvatarTim13 31st Jul - 11:16pm
    Like Allan Brame, I have always struggled with the meaning of "Op-Ed". I assume it stands for "Opinion - Editorial", but am certainly not sure,...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 31st Jul - 10:33pm
    Frank - We have a lot to thank Julia Drown for and also Duncan Hames for being the first MP to take a baby through...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:21pm
    The Liberal Democrat - Labour coalition in Scotland did that for councils. Perhaps Wales should as well.
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 31st Jul - 10:19pm
    Someone should advise about new members, recruitment and retention.