Election hustings at Newbattle

Newbattle Abbey College.
Newbattle Abbey College.

Newbattle Abbey College hosts a local election Question Time featuring all five main parties next Wednesday (April 26).

The event, ahead of the Midlothian Council elections on May 4, is part of the college’s Newbattle Conversations series, to promote academic debate and public discourse on Scotland’s history and its recent political awakening.

The panel includes former Labour leader of the local authority, Derek Milligan, a serving councillor for Bonnyrigg.

The SNP is represented by Kelly Parry, who has been councillor for Midlothian West since winning a September 2015 by-election after Councillor Owen Thompson stepped down after becoming Westminster MP for Midlothian.

The other serving councillor on the panel is Midlothian’s only Green representative, Ian Baxter (Bonnyrigg).

The panel is completed by council election candidates Ken Brown (Liberal Democrat) and Robin Traquair (Conservative).

The Newbattle Conversations series features annual lectures, election hustings and workshops on topics relevant to the current political situation. The series will culminate in an international academic conference in spring 2020 to celebrate the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, which was drafted at Newbattle.

Ann Southwood, principal of Newbattle Abbey College, said: “In the current multi-layered conversation about Scotland’s political and constitutional future, we must not forget the important role of local democracy. I am delighted to welcome a talented group of politicians to Newbattle for the hustings, and look forward to a lively and thought-provoking debate.”

The debate takes place 2pm-3.30pm on Wednesday, April 26. Tickets are available free of charge from Julie Thomson at JulieT@newbattleabbeycollege.ac.uk or by calling 0131 663 1921