Moray Greens Convener hits back at Tory criticism

James MacKessack-Leitch (left)

MORAY GREENS CONVENER James MacKessack-Leitch has hit back at claims the decision not to contest the general election was designed to help the SNP.

Mr MacKessack-Leitch was rounded on by Conservative candidate Douglas Ross, saying it “smacked of desperation” by a Green party that would “do anything to prop up the SNP”.

However, Mr MacKessack-Leitch hit back through his own social media page last night, pointing out that the decision was not dictated from central office or the SNP – but was a local branch decision.

He added that Mr Ross’ comments largely highlighted what he mean when he described the “immature, negative and toxic” manner of the election.

He said: “This is a Moray branch decision, not a personal one, or a national one – democracy may be unpopular with authoritarian right-wingers, but I’ll stick with it. The comments by and large highlight exactly what I mean by “immature” “negative” “toxic” etc. (Irony failure alert).

“’Not endorsing any candidate’ means that – clearly Douglas doesn’t want my vote, fine. But it’s no secret that I’m no supporter of the SNP either – take some time to read our local election material. A genuinely progressive Labour or Liberal Democrat candidate could win my vote, but I may yet just write something rude all over the ballot paper.”

Mr MacKessack-Leitch went on to remind people criticising the decision that in 2015 he came last in the election – behind a no-show Liberal Democrat, with his deposit being lost.

He added: “Does anyone really think we’d beat both Angus and Douglas this time under first past the post? 2015 was the first time Moray had a Green candidate – if we hadn’t stood then would anyone care now?”

He concluded: “On a personal level, for those of you who are actually my friends and supporters and sad to see this happen – I’m sorry, and I wish it were different – but I’ve also got a life to live.

“Maybe once the current political storms are over folk will be ready for change.”