A north-east secondary school teacher has been adopted by the Scottish Conservatives to fight the Aberdeenshire East constituency in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.
Stewart Whyte, a former Turriff Academy pupil who went on to teach history in Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Aboyne, will contest the seat currently held by the SNP’s Gillian Martin.
The 48-year-old was the Conservative chairman of the Better Together Aberdeenshire alliance during the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.
Mr Whyte said defending the Union is his top political priority – along with securing a “fair share” for the north-east when it comes to council and health board funding.
Aberdeenshire Council is routinely among the lowest funded councils in Scotland, while NHS Grampian has received the worst per-head settlement this year of any health board in the country.
Mr Whyte said: “Nicola Sturgeon signed a memorandum of understanding with David Cameron promising to respect the outcome of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. This wasn’t worth the paper it was written on; Nicola Sturgeon started her campaign for a re-run of that vote the very next day.
“She has done all she can to block a Brexit deal and is desperate for it to go badly instead of pulling together to get the best for Scotland.
“It is clear that the threat to Scotland and the United Kingdom will never be lifted as long as the SNP are in government.
“I am standing to finish the job secured in 2014.”
The Scottish Conservative candidate added: “I will be standing for a ‘fair share’ for the north east.
“NHS Grampian has been among the lowest funded health boards for each of the last nine years and our council is the third lowest funded.
“This means our roads, services for the elderly, support for business and schools get millions and millions less than the rest of Scotland.
“I don’t want special treatment, I just want us to get our fair share. As a MSP, I will work tirelessly until we achieve it.”