THERE WERE NO surprises this week when the SNP in Moray unanimously confirmed the selection of Richard Lochhead as their candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May.
Mr Lochhead will defend his Holyrood seat against one other candidate selected so far – Tory Douglas Ross.
Lochhead, who has been MSP for Moray since the 2006 by-election following the death of Margaret Ewing, was endorsed by SNP members at a meeting on Sunday 16 August. In 2011, he was re-elected with an increased majority of over 10,000 votes.
Speaking after the selection meeting at Elgin Town Hall, Moray SNP Convener Gary Coull said: “I am delighted that Richard has been unanimously re-selected as our candidate for the upcoming Scottish election.
“Richard has proven to be a fantastic representative for Moray and a strong voice for the people of the area. He is also well respected throughout Scotland for his work as a Cabinet Secretary in the government and that reflects well on Moray.
“We are very lucky to have an MSP of Richard’s calibre and as a party locally we are taking nothing for granted. We will be putting every effort in to ensure Richard is returned as Moray’s MSP and we are looking forward to the campaign.”
Accepting the nomination, Mr Lochhead said: “I am honoured and humbled to have been unanimously endorsed as the SNP candidate for Moray for next year’s Scottish Election and I’m very grateful to the local members for putting their trust in me.
“It has been a privilege to represent the people of Moray in Holyrood since 2006 and I hope voters will trust me to serve them again next year.
“In the last year the SNP in Moray has worked hard to gain two by-election victories, and a general election win, where Angus Robertson was re-elected to join an incredible 55 other SNP MPs in Westminster.
“This has been a hugely successful time for our party but we take no election for granted and, with the support of our 1,500 members in Moray I will be working flat out for every single vote.”