Calum Kerr has launched his campaign to win back the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency at the next UK general election, expected on December 12.
Joined by local supporters, the area’s former MP kicked off campaigning in Galashiels, the town where he was born, to convey his key message to voters that the Scottish Borders has been poorly represented by the Tories for the last two years and has effectively “lost its voice in the House of Commons”.
Mr Kerr represented the constituency between 2015 and 2017, and quickly built a reputation as an effective and hard working champion for the Borders who was prepared to work across party lines to achieve results for his constituents. During his time in Parliament, he served as the SNP’s Westminster spokesperson for rural affairs – with his work on agriculture and digital connectivity particularly catching the eye and winning praise.
Outside of politics and his family life, Calum works for a global telecommunications company and he also serves as the voluntary Chair of Borders Citizens Advice.
Mr Kerr said: “The message that I am taking to Borderers is that: Scotland voted to remain in the European Union; Scotland’s needs are best served by maintaining the strongest possible trade links with Europe; and the people of Scotland deserve the right to choose our own future.
“In the face of both Scotland’s views and needs being ignored by the UK Government, we must stand up and reject the kind of the hard Tory Brexit that is already, before it’s even taken place, causing chaos for our farmers, our businesses and those EU citizens who have paid us the compliment of making Scotland their home.
“The fact is that Boris Johnson’s deal will be even worse for our economy than the deal struck by Theresa May, which was itself rejected three times by MPs, and the latest bad deal puts Scotland at a significant competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland. It is also becoming clearer by the day that, under their proposed hard Brexit, the Tories will sell out Scotland’s Health Service and food standards in their desperation to strike a US trade deal with Donald Trump. Unlike my Tory counterpart, who has rolled over and repeatedly voted against the wishes of the majority of Borderers, I won’t stand idly by and let that happen.
“I loved every second of representing this constituency and I recognise that to do so is an honour, not a right. Any MP must earn and sustain the trust of the area’s constituents. In the two years that I had the honour of representing the area I love, I always put Borderers and their best interests first and I promise to do so again, if the people of the Borders once again put their faith in me.”
Paul Wheelhouse, South Scotland MSP, said: “As our former MP, Calum built a strong reputation as an accessible and hard-working representative for the Borders and who spoke with passion on behalf of our communities.
“Calum achieved so much and never shied away from holding the UK Government to account where merited, but also working with others to achieve results. Calum had the ear of myself and my fellow Scottish Ministers and worked hard to secure investment in the Borders. Sadly, those qualities and constructive approach have been posted missing at Westminster since 2017 with a current MP who is widely seen as tribal and who is failing to represent Borderers’ needs - most obviously on Brexit itself.
“We need a real champion in London to hold the UK Government to account, especially at one of the most challenging of times our area has ever faced. Calum is not just the best candidate, but he’s the only one that has a proven record of ensuring Borderers’ voices are heard in the House of Commons and I urge my fellow Borderers to re-elect Calum on the 12th of December.”
The General Election will take place on December 12. If you’re not registered to vote, you have until midnight on the 26th November to do. You can register here