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Former Charles Kennedy aide targets far north Holyrood seat for LibDems

By Scott Maclennan

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The Liberal Democrat's candidate David Green centre, flanked by party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton (left) and Westminster candidate Angus MacDonald.
The Liberal Democrat's candidate David Green centre, flanked by party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton (left) and Westminster candidate Angus MacDonald.

The Highland Liberal Democrats have named David Green – a former aide to the late Charles Kennedy – as their candidate to contest the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross Holyrood seat in 2026.

The early announcement indicates the ambition of the party to put down a marker that Highland seats at Holyrood and Westminster are among their top targets nationwide – while Mr Green said it is a chance to put “the Highlands first.”

The party is fresh from a significant boost in the Inverness South Highland Council by-election which saw the party’s share of first preference votes surge by more than 11 per cent while the SNP share fell sharply by almost 16 per cent. Despite that, the party failed to retain the seat which was won by independent candidate Duncan McDonald.

Mr Green is from Muir of Ord, he was a pupil at Dingwall Academy and graduated from the University of Aberdeen before starting work as a parliamentary aide to the hugely respected former leader of the LibDems, Mr Kennedy.

After Mr Kennedy’s death in 2015, Mr Green continued with the party before moving to work in public engagement for the international development agency, Christian Aid. That work supporting the most vulnerable communities in the world, saw him visit Ukraine earlier this year where he saw first hand both the impact of the war and the growing humanitarian needs.

At the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, the Liberal Democrats finished just 2591 votes behind the SNP, making the constituency the party’s top target at the next Scottish Parliament elections.

The Liberal Democrat's candidate David Green
The Liberal Democrat's candidate David Green

Mr Green said: “I am over the moon to have been selected to contest Caithness, Sutherland and Ross. My thanks to members of the local party for giving me their support in what will be an important election for our area.

“From a failure to invest in upgrading healthcare provision to roads not fit for purpose and a lack of affordable homes, people across the Highlands have been left waiting at the back of the queue for far too long by an out of touch government in Edinburgh.

“With every ounce of energy in me, I am determined to change that. Local people are absolutely right to demand a fair deal for what they put in. That is why I am committed to putting the needs, views and interests of the Highlands first.

“At the forthcoming elections, we have a real opportunity to do things differently. I look forward to grasping that opportunity and getting out across our communities to listen to people's hopes and concerns for the future.”

Veteran Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP, Jamie Stone, said: “I have worked with David over many years. He has a track record of campaigning on the issues that matter most to local people, not least tackling fuel poverty and fighting against the SNP’s centralisation of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

“With his drive to get things done for the Highlands, people will quickly see he learnt his approach to campaigning from my friend, the late Charles Kennedy. I look forward to knocking on doors with him in the months and years ahead.”

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, added: “From lack of access to local healthcare like dentists and GPs to Scotland’s growing sewage scandal, this tired SNP government is out of ideas and out of touch. The Highlands deserve so much better than the SNP’s neglect and centralisation.

“With David Green, people can vote for a fresh voice. They can elect an MSP that will put local issues first, not one who will make excuses for a failing government in Edinburgh. In a contest that is neck and neck between the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, we are determined to win again for the Highlands.”

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