Conservatives choose their candidate for local by-election

Midlothian Conservatives have selected Murdo MacDonald as their candidate in the upcoming Penicuik by-election, he is pictured (centre) with the five current Midlothian Conservative councillors.
Midlothian Conservatives have selected Murdo MacDonald as their candidate in the upcoming Penicuik by-election, he is pictured (centre) with the five current Midlothian Conservative councillors.

Midlothian Conservatives have selected Murdo MacDonald as their candidate in the upcoming council by-election in Penicuik, following the sad passing of Provost Adam Montgomery.

The Penicuik by-election following the death of Provost Adam Montgomery will take place on March 22. Councillor Montgomery passed away on January 10 aged 67, leaving Midlothian Council with six Labour, six SNP and five Conservative councillors. The crucial vote could see Labour lose control of the council, having only taken power last May.

Conservative Councillor Andrew Hardie topped the poll in Penicuik last May and the party is aiming for a repeat performance.

Murdo lives in the ward and recently retired from a career in the defence industry, and was a reservist prior to that. He said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the Conservative candidate in Penicuik. Last May saw a huge swing to the Scottish Conservatives in the town and I hope that people can see that the Conservatives have provided proper scrutiny and new ideas in Midlothian Council.

“I would be honoured to represent my town on Midlothian Council and look forward to meeting residents in the coming weeks.”

Cllr Hardie commented, “Murdo is a fantastic local candidate who we are delighted to have on our team. Since my election, I have spoken out for affordable housing, stood up for local commuters and voice my support for a railway to Penicuik, and I hope that I will soon have Murdo fighting for these things as well in the Council.

“The Conservatives won Penicuik on first preferences last May, and we will do everything to make sure that we do so again. The SNP government has threatened local councils with even bigger cuts unless we roll over and meekly accept our lot. We will continue to robustly oppose this centralisation of power and put Penicuik and Midlothian first.”