Shire Opposition leader to contest Gordon at General Election

Richard was leader of Aberdeenshire Council from June 2015 until May 2017
Richard was leader of Aberdeenshire Council from June 2015 until May 2017

The SNP has selected Richard Thomson, the leader of the Opposition on Aberdeenshire Council, as the party’s candidate for the Gordon Constituency ahead of the anticipated Westminster General Election.

Richard, 43, lives in Foveran with his partner Eilidh and their two daughters and has represented the Ellon & District ward on Aberdeenshire Council since 2012.

A former financial sector worker and journalist, Richard was leader of Aberdeenshire Council from June 2015 until May 2017. He also represents Aberdeenshire Council on Europe’s North Sea Commission, where he is the current Vice-Chair of the Marine Resources Group.

Speaking following his selection, Richard said: “I'm absolutely thrilled that local SNP members have chosen me to be their standard bearer at the upcoming Westminster Election.

“Since the result was announced, I’ve been overwhelmed by messages of support from people outside the SNP, who are seeking a change in our current representation in the House of Commons.

“People have been watching the chaos, confusion and incompetence of the Conservative Government at Westminster with a mounting sense of disbelief and anger.

“Our traditional industries are facing a deeply uncertain future thanks to the continued shambles over Brexit. Meanwhile, any semblance of a competent UK Government ended years ago, with competing factions of Tory MPs seemingly more interested in fighting each other than for the interests of their constituents.

“The thing people in Gordon find hardest to thole is that instead of pointing out the harm of hard Brexit and doing everything in his power to stop it, our current MP has gone out of his way to align himself with the Boris Johnson/Jacob Rees-Mogg faction responsible for the current chaos.

“In my time as Aberdeenshire Council leader, I won a reputation for being hard working, pragmatic and being willing to stand up fearlessly for the interests of the North East. Right now, we need an MP who will always put the needs of Gordon ahead of the political self-interest of Boris.

“At this election, Scotland’s voice must be heard and our choices must be respected. With people’s support, as Gordon’s MP I will make sure that Is what happens.”

Richard, who served as head of campaigns at SNP HQ and later head of research for the SNP at Westminster, rose to prominence in North East SNP circles when he stood in the Gordon constituency at the 2010 election against Lib Dem Malcolm Bruce, achieving a 9% swing to leapfrog Labour and the Conservatives and take the SNP into a close second place.

Alex Salmond captured the seat for the SNP at the following General Election in 2015. However, the Conservatives snatched the seat at the snap General Election two years later with a majority of just over 2,500, following a collapse in the Lib Dem vote across the North East.