General Election 2017 - Meet your candidates

Midlothian goes back to the polls in two weeks' time on June 8, this time for the snap General Election called by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Friday, 26th May 2017, 9:47 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Midlothian's candidates for the 2017 General Election. Clockwise from top left: Owen Thompson (SNP), Danielle Rowley (Labour), Chris Donnelly (Conservatives, Ross Laird (Liberal Democrats).

Just over a month after Midlothian elected its 18 councillors to sit on Midlothian Council, our General Election candidates will battle it out for the Midlothian seat at Westminster.

Before you make up your mind on who to vote for, read all about your four local candidates.

Conservatives - Chris Donnelly

Midlothian Conservatives have selected Chris Donnelly as their parliamentary candidate for Midlothian at the General Election on June 8.

Chris was born and raised near Hillend and has campaigned in the county for the past ten years. His main priorities are to stand up for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom, ensure that we get the best possible Brexit deal to secure investment and jobs in Midlothian, and to fight for better local infrastructure to cope with Midlothian’s growth. Chris is a barrister and worked in the civil service before returning to Edinburgh to work for Citizens Advice Scotland. He currently works in community engagement in the sports sector.

He sits on the governing committee of the Waverley Route Heritage Association and is a member of the Campaign for Borders Rail, and is keen to ensure that the new Borders Railway is enhanced to provide a more reliable service. He has also undertaken voluntary youth work for the past 15 years across the country, and currently is involved in a youth mentoring programme in the Borders, having previously chaired a local youth services panel.

Chris said: “I am asking you to lend me your vote on June 8 to help me fight your corner at the heart of government, not shouting from the sidelines. I have a history of standing up for people who do not have loud voices and I will continue to do so if elected as your representative.”

Labour - Danielle Rowley

Midlothian Labour’s candidate is Danielle Rowley. Danielle (27), was born and bred in Dalkeith and cares passionately about the communities of Midlothian.

Through a range of voluntary roles including at Black Diamond FM, representing Midlothian on the Scottish Youth Parliament, and helping organise the Dalkeith Festival, Danielle has always supported her local community.

Danielle, who currently works full time at a national housing charity, said: “It would be a true honour to represent my home. I love Midlothian, but I also want to make it a better place to live for everyone. Local people tell me their worries about low wages, a lack of good jobs, uncertainty over Brexit and their pensions.

“We need to get rid of May’s awful Tory government. They are attacking our children, our elderly, our social care and our living standards.

“The best the SNP can do in Westminster is send a message. A Labour government can change lives. I want to be part of a strong Labour government that stands up for the many, not the few.

“The only way to stop another divisive independence referendum, and stop Tory attacks on working people is to vote for me on June 8.”

Liberal Democrats - Ross Laird

Midlothian Liberal Democrats have announced that local campaigner Ross Laird will be representing the party in the forthcoming General Election, fighting against Tory plans for a hard Brexit, better rights for workers and more investment in services.

Ross lives with his family in Penicuik and has a long history of working for his local community. He is vice chairman of Penicuik YMCA and has set up a cycling group in the county. He runs a business in Edinburgh and plays a leading role in national heritage and youth development organisations.

Commenting on his selection, Ross said: “Midlothian’s economy is reliant on our connections across the UK and Europe – from world class research at The Roslin Institute to funding and support for our colleges. Brexit will have a detrimental effect on them and the Midlothian economy. Instead, we want to build a positive future for our area.

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that has consistently championed Britain’s membership of the European Union, because we believe that Britain’s best chance to succeed is within the EU. A vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for investment and an MP standing up for people’s rights.”

SNP - Owen Thompson

Midlothian SNP recently launched their General Election campaign at the National Mining Museum in Newtongrange.

With voters going to the polls on June 8, Owen Thompson, who has been the MP in Midlothian since May 2015, is urging voters to vote SNP to re-elect him to send a clear message that Midlothian rejects the Tories’ austerity policies

Owen Thompson, SNP candidate for Midlothian, said: “In this election we face a clear choice, a choice between the most extreme right wing Tory Government in years, with the chaos of Brexit and the most appalling and inhumane policies like the rape clause and welfare cuts to the disabled, or a vote for the SNP to stand up and protect Scotland’s interests at Westminster.

“For the past two years the SNP has been the only real opposition at Westminster and now more than ever Scotland needs strong voices.

“We must stand firm against the Tory agenda of hard-line austerity and campaign for investment in public services, the SNP in this election will, as we always do, stand up for Scotland and Midlothian.”