SNP announces Shetland by-election candidate

Written by Emily Woods on 19 July 2019 in News

Shetland local Tom Wills will contest the seat for SNP

The SNP's Shetland by-election candidate Tom Wills - Image credit: SNP

The SNP has announced Shetland native Tom Wills as its candidate in the August 29 by-election.

On Friday afternoon the party announced Wills would contest outgoing Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott’s seat, after SNP members voted at its Shetland branch.

Wills has built a career in offshore renewables, and currently works for tidal energy company Nova Innovation where he manages offshore partings in the Shetland Tidal Array at Bluemull Sound.

He is the son of Shetland teacher Lesley Roberts, and former journalist and wildlife guide Johnathan Wills.

Wills said he was “convinced” offshore renewable energy projects, including floating offshore win and tidal energy, would “bring a green jobs boom to the isles”.

“With more local control of the seabed, the benefits to our community could be enormous. We can be a global leader in fighting climate change,” he said.

Wills said the by-election was an opportunity for Shetland to “send a message that we won’t stand for this Brexit process that completely ignores the needs of our islands and threatens to devastate our local economy”.

“I am honoured to be standing as the SNP candidate in Shetland – it’s a great privilege to be given the opportunity to represent the community that I call home,” he said.

“Shetland is ready for change - we need an MSP who will work constructively with the Scottish Government to ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear.”

At the end of June, Scott announced he was resigning to take up a post as head of external affairs at Scottish Rugby.

The Lib Dems announced Shetland Islands councillor Beatrice Wishart as its candidate, and two other Shetland Council members, Ryan Thomson and Ian Scott, will be running as independents in the by-election.

The Scottish Tories announced its candidate Shetland Island resident – Brydon Goodlad – yesterday, and The Shetland Times accountant Johan Adamson is running as candidate for the Scottish Labour Party.

UKIP has put Stuart Martin forwards as its candidate, and the Scottish Greens are yet to announce whether they will put a candidate forward.

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