Sheila Ritchie heads Scottish European list

As he launched the Scottish Liberal Democrats list of candidates or the European election, Willie Rennie stressed that every vote for a Lib Dem MEP will help stop the division and damage imposed by Brexit.

The list includes a partner in an Aberdeen law firm who has spent 20 years supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the North East, the former head of the European Parliament’s office in Scotland, and an EU citizen who represents the hundreds of thousands of people who have made their home in Scotland but whose futures are put at risk by Brexit.

The list is as follows:

  1. Sheila Ritchie
  2. Fred Mackintosh
  3. Catriona Bhatia
  4. Vita Zaporozcenko
  5. John Edward
  6. Clive Sneddon

Willie said:

I am delighted to announce our list of candidates for the European elections. We have a strong group of people who are committed to protecting our place in Europe.

This election gives voters an opportunity to demand an end to the constitutional chaos we’ve endured for years. People are fed up with Brexit and listening to all the arguments. It has divided our country and damaged our economy for long enough.

A vote for Scottish Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and will send a message to the SNP on their unwanted independence plans. Every MEP we gain in Scotland will help make the division and damage stop.

Sheila Ritchie said:

I am thrilled to be leading the fight to secure Lib Dem seats in Brussels and a chance to stop the chaos of Brexit dead in its tracks. This election provides us with a tremendous opportunity.

Brexit is bad for the NHS, for our universities and for our farming communities. People across the country have been wracked with worry over Brexit uncertainty and this is a way to make it stop.

Liberal Democrats want close ties with our neighbours, not new barriers and broken partnerships. We passionately believe in a Britain that’s open, tolerant and international in outlook and we want the public to have the final say on Brexit.

And here’s a bit about each of the candidates:

Sheila Ritchie

Sheila Ritchie is the founding partner of a major law firm and was previously a Council Leader in the North East. She has spent over 20 years supporting small start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the Aberdeen area through her work with the Enterprise Trust, Business Gateway and Elevator. Sheila also served as a Scottish Government appointee from 2000 – 2003 on the European Economic and Social Committee, which involved bi-monthly trips to Brussels for consultation.

Sheila has been a key activist for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish Liberal Party before that, for most of her life. She has worked tirelessly to get more Liberal Democrats elected across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Sheila is a passionate European and will be a strong and trusted voice for Liberal Democrat values in the European Parliament. She will use this opportunity to campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom in Europe.

Fred Mackintosh

Fred Mackintosh is a busy and well regarded Scottish human rights lawyer and Advocate.  After a number of years away from front line politics he has returned to campaigning.

In 2010 he was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Edinburgh South where after a high-profile campaign where he cut the Labour majority to 316. From 1999 to 2007 he was a City of Edinburgh Councillor and in 2012 was a member of the Campbell Commission that that developed the party platform of calling for home rule for Scotland within a Federal United Kingdom and as a member of the European Union.

He lives in southern Edinburgh with Angela and their three children.

Catriona Bhatia

Catriona Bhatia studied hotel management at Westminster College. Her husband works in the Whisky industry and they have three daughters and one son. A terrific local campaigner, Catriona served on the Scottish Borders Council from 2003 – 2017 and was the Education Convener from 2007 – 2010. She also was the Council Representative to NHS Borders, the Commission of Local Tax Reform and was Deputy Leader of the Council. She has stood for both Westminster and Holyrood for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Catriona cares passionately about the Scottish Liberal Democrats core values of fairness, equality, justice and internationalism – and is campaigning to ensure that we put a Liberal Britain back in the heart of the European Union.

Vita Zaporozcenko

Originally from Latvia, 28 year-old Vita first moved to Scotland in 2009. She attended University of Aberdeen, graduating with MA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations in 2013. Whilst at university, she was actively involved in the Students’ Association, focusing on equality issues.

She currently works for Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP as his casework manager and volunteers with Leith Conversation Café. Her policy interests include housing, mental health and animal welfare. An avid reader, she is fluent in three languages.

John Edward

John Edward was Chief Campaign Spokesman for Scotland Stronger In Europe in 2016 and helped launch Scotland for a People’s Vote.

John has represented Scotland in the EU and the European Parliament in Scotland: as Head of the UK office of the European Parliament in Edinburgh from 2003 to 2009; and previously as Policy Manager in Scotland Europa, Brussels.  Prior to that, in the European Policy Centre, he was personal assistant to Max Kohnstamm (first Secretary of the Coal and Steel Authority).

A former Policy Convener of the Scottish Party, John served on the Steel Commission on Moving Towards Federalism, the Campbell Commission on Home Rule and Community Rule, and on the Commission for Parliamentary Reform. He previously served as Secretary to the Brussels and Luxembourg local Party.

Clive Sneddon

Clive Sneddon has been active in Liberal politics since moving to Scotland in the 1970s. He grew up in London, studied and worked in Oxford, and then came to St Andrews as a University teacher of French. He is married with two grown-up children. His daughter lives in Berlin and works in the German Foreign Office. His son lives in Glasgow and works for a Norwegian computer consultancy.

Clive was active in local government, being Leader of North East Fife District Council 1988-96, and latterly a local government representative in Europe. He has stood for the European Parliament previously, and also for Dundee East and then Angus South.

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