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SCP to field candidate in General Election


The Scottish Christian Party is hoping to field a candidate in the forthcoming general election and a contest is to held in the early new year to select a candidate.



murdomurray smallA £30,000 campaign war chest has been promised to the Scottish Christian Party (SCP) candidate fighting the Western Isles constituency in the forthcoming general election. The party’s political candidate will be chosen in February after a US-style Open Primary contest open to all islanders.

This is thought to be just the second time the American system of allow all voters in an area to select a prospective candidate for an election in the UK. The first was in August when the Sarah Wollaston was picked to fight the Totnes seat for the 2010 general election for the Conservatives.

The candidate selection will be conducted by a secure internet vote and via a computerised telephone poll. The primary will be organised and controlled by the Electoral Reform Service though its £30,000 cost will be borne by the party.

Voting in the Primary will be between Thursday 21 January and Thursday 11 February 2010.

George HargreavesChristian Party leader Rev. George Hargreaves who stood in the Western Isles as a SCP candidate for the Western Isles at the last general election pledged the campaign cash saying: “We are in it to win it. “Whoever wins the prize will be well resourced.”

“The £30,000 campaign fund is the maximum allowed under the law and we are spending a similar amount on the Primary."

The successful candidate will have  a rented campaign office at his disposal in a prime spot in Cromwell Street in Stornoway town centre. The party plans to fight the SNP after blaming the Nationalists for launching a controversial Sabbath ferry into Lewis this summer while Sabbath trading is another issue troubling the party. Rev. Hargreaves has stated: 

 

“In 2010 and 2011 the Scottish Christian Party shall run election campaigns based on building on the strengths of the Western Isles, not destroying them. We intend to see the people of the Western Isles united behind it uniqueness, not divided by its diversity.”

 

Mr. Hargreaves also believes that the Calman report could benefit the Scottish islands. He said that the 10 pence (income) tax should be used to advantage for the Western Isles and peripheral islands to attract new business and attract population to the islands

The presence of the Scottish Christian Party in the Western Isles election fight could well upset the two-horse race between the SNP and Labour. It will also impact on any opportunity or desire that there might be for a local Christian to stand as an independent.

murdomurray small1In the 2007 elections for the Scottish Parliament Mr. Murdo Murray, a former Technical Director with Western Isles Council stood as a List Candidate for the SCP.

Mr. Murray participated in a recent on-line discussion regarding the Sunday sailing issue and the wider subject of Christian representation in the political process.

Audio iconIn the course of the discussion Christians Together interviewed Mr. Murray on a range of issues affecting the Western Isles. It is understood that Mr. Murray was not present at a recent public meeting in Stornoway hosted by Rev. Hargreaves.


Christians Together, 24/12/2009

Feedback:
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Peter Carr (Guest) 15/03/2010 13:52
Maybe it is because George is keen to escape the stress of London!!
Rosemary Cameron 15/03/2010 21:00
I suspect George has put his name down because the Western Isles is the only seat the SCP has any hope of winning in a Westminster election! I can't honestly see him moving up there even if he wins it. What I'm interested in is why there were no other candidates for the primary.
Eddie Hallahan 15/03/2010 23:16
George Hargreaves isn't standing due to his wife being taken very ill. It is some guy from North Lanarkshire that is standing in the Western Isles.
Rosemary Cameron 17/03/2010 22:12
Thanks for the breaking news Eddie - there is nothing on the SCP website about it. I'm sorry to hear that Maxine Hargreaves is ill again and hope that she recovers.

Is it Tom Selfridge who is now the SCP candidate for the Western Isles? Did no-one local want to stand? Are you in the Western Isles Eddie?
Eddie Hallahan 18/03/2010 10:57
Yeah I'm in the western isles.

They didn't really publicise their open primary thing very well and the sole nominee was george hargreaves - who said he wouldn't stand unless there was more than him as nominee and they were talking about having another primary but then his wife took ill and I think they just parachuted someone in.

http://www.hebridesnews.co.uk/christian_party_candidate_9310.html

I think that the Western Isles is a strange place in terms of religion and politics - issues that aren't even on the radar for most christians are massively controversial up here, and there is an awful lot of bitterness and judgementalism going on. I think most sensible christians tend to keep their heads down and try and not get involved in the bampotry that goes on.
Alec (Guest) 18/03/2010 13:14
I suspect that the SCP candidate might find it hard going - what connections does he have with the Western Isles?

One notable journalist writes:

http://www.hebridesnews.co.uk/candidate_parachuted_in_10310.html

"Parachuted in" ?

In island communities, provenance is very important when it comes to elected officials. I suspect the question "Co leis thu?" might be put to him several times......

Alec
Peter Carr 18/03/2010 14:32
Our prayers must be with George, Maxine and the family during this difficult time.

As for Tom Selfridge and the Lewis situation, well now at least we see who the right hand man is within SCP!!
Rosemary Cameron 18/03/2010 15:21
Tom Selfridge is a good guy however I think it is a bit of a shame that a local candidate could not be found. I suspect Alec will be right about Tom finding it hard to fit in even although he will be able to get one of his sons to translate the Gaelic for him (they are fluent speakers).

Does "Co leis thu?" mean "who are you with?" (my Gaelic is pretty elementary).
Eddie Hallahan 18/03/2010 16:33
Ah yes, Mr John MacLeod.

All I will say is that he represents one particular segment of the religious landscape up here. His style of writing isn't the most popular either.
Peter Carr 18/03/2010 16:36
I suspect that the real reason that no local candidate has emerged for SCP is because they (the locals) know, as we do we all, that this General Election is a 2 horse race throughout the entirety of the British Isles.

Yet another og for SCP on the near horizon!! (Yet more money down the tubes).
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Western Isles > SCP to field candidate in General Election