Just before Christmas, MSP Andy Wightman resigned from the Scottish Greens and has since been operating as an Independent MSP (see here).
[Andy (Scottish Parliament’s Golden Eagle Champion) with golden eagle ‘Adam’, who later disappeared in suspicious circumstances on a grouse moor in Strathbraan (here). Photo by Ruth Tingay]
Andy has just announced he will be standing again in the forthcoming May election as an Independent candidate for the Highlands and Islands region.
Here is his statement, posted on his blog yesterday:
Andy Wightman for Highlands and Islands MSP
I will be putting my name forward as an Independent candidate in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election for the Highlands and Islands Region. From the end of March, my home will be in Lochaber.
Holyrood needs more independent voices. Over the past 5 years, I have campaigned successfully on a range of issues.
As an MSP (2016-21), I led the successful legal challenge in the European Court of Justice that ruled that Article 50 could be unilaterally revoked.
I launched the Homes First campaign to better regulate short-term lets and led opposition to the latest regulations that affect Bed and Breakfast businesses.
I introduced a Bill to incorporate the European Charter of Local Self-Government to strengthen local democracy. It will be voted on at its final stage in Parliament within the next few weeks.
I have championed tenants’ rights and the need for more affordable housing.
As a long-standing land campaigner (author of Who Owns Scotland 1996 & The Poor Had No Lawyers 2010), a focus of my election campaign will be a Land for the People Bill to reform Scotland’s antiquated land laws and democratise the ownership and use of land and property.
In the coming days I will launch a crowdfunder and later in March I will formally launch my campaign.
It is very hard to be elected as an Independent candidate. I will need 12-15,000 votes across the Highlands and Islands.
I will be relying on a grassroots campaign of supporters who are able to mobilise voters by word of mouth and social media.
If you support my candidacy, please tell your friends and family. Very soon I will be offering you ways to get involved in the campaign.
Meanwhile, thank you for your support.
10 thoughts on “Andy Wightman to stand as an Independent candidate for Highlands & Islands”
Very interesting, integrated with tourism and energy sufficiency would be most appealing
He’ll get my vote anyway.
Having met Andy a couple of times I was really sorry that he felt it necessary to resign from the Green party though I totally understood why. His campaigning for Community buyouts ,raptor conservation and his support for local democracy against land owning fat cats mean this is the man to vote for if you read this blog and live in the Highlands.
Obviously that is only my opinion, other good candidates may be available!
[Ed: Thanks, Les, but this is straying off topic and I’m sure you’ll appreciate is not a subject I’m interested in being dragged in to.]
No problem, I appreciate that fully, know you won’t have come to the decision without regret, fair points made I think, but yes this isn’t the best platform for them although these days finding anyone is difficult. Cheers.
Very good news. His presence in parliament is vital. I just hope the good voters of H&I feel the same.
I wish him all the best with his new venture and hope that the people in the west see him as a champion over land issues and his support for raptor persecution issues.
Well, I now know who I will be voting for! I think that it is essential that all voters who care for our environment put Andy at Number One on their list. I have become somewhat disillusioned with the SNP during this last Parliament – don’t get me wrong, I think Nicola has done a much better job handling the pandemic than those clowns down south but the SNP has been too soft on DGS and the environment for my liking. The Greens were going to get my vote until Andy left so it is brilliant news that he is going to stand as a candidate in my constituency! I wish him all the very best of luck!
Andy should stay away from politics – recent events show that he’s not very good at it. Much better if he sticks to his previous remit and continue the work on uncovering who owns Scotland. This is where he can contribute. The rumoured carrot offered by the SNP of being on a land reform panel won’t take us closer to that. The current administration is in the pockets of the large landowners who will be happy to sell of parcels of marginal land at full market rates – at the taxpayers expense of course.