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Eilidh Whiteford is MP for Banff & Buchan

YES Vote Prevails in Banff & Buchan

Sunday, 21 September 2014


AMAZING SCENES IN NEW DEER TODAY AS FIRST MINISTER ARRIVES FOR MEETING WITH CAMPAIGNERS

Yes campaigners in Banff & Buchan have taken heart from the fact that a Yes vote topped the poll locally.

While there are no official figures for the referendum result broken down by constituency, information gathered by the Yes Campaign’s Counting Agents at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre point to a clear Yes vote in Banff & Buchan.

Commenting, a spokesperson for YES Banff & Buchan said:

“The Westminster establishment has made extravagant promises to the people of Scotland that they will find hard to keep. The 'new powers' promised will need to go much further than the lowest common denominator of 'devo-nano' if they are to meet the expectations of the people of Scotland. It's our job now to hold them to account, and make sure they keep their pledges.

“Although we are disappointed that we failed to secure a Yes vote last week, we can take great heart from the fact that 1.6 million people, 45% of the electorate, voted Yes. And we’re proud that in every age group except our older citizens, the Yes campaign won a majority of votes.”

The positive YES campaign has galvanised a whole new generation of activists which was in evidence today at New Deer. A scheduled meeting of the local Constituency Association of the SNP had to be hastily turned into an outdoor rally when around 300 people turned up to greet First Minister Alex Salmond on his arrival after hearing about the meeting on Facebook.

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Alex has served the people of Scotland with passion, vision and immense dedication. His role in shaping the Scottish political landscape over the past 25 years has been immeasurable, and in the last seven years he has transformed the role of First Minister.

“Alex continues to be an outstanding MSP for East Aberdeenshire. Anyone who knows Alex, knows his extraordinary willingness to make time for his constituents, his determination to improve the lives of our people, and his desire to build a better future for Scotland.

“I am very sad that Alex is stepping down as First Minister. One of the supreme ironies of this campaign is that all along the No campaign tried to make the Referendum all about Alex. And on Friday, that's exactly what happened, and instead of focussing on defeat, the agenda focussed on him.

“But Alex’s departure as First Minister leaves Scotland with unfinished business in terms of the new powers promised to our parliament, but the seeds of hope and expectation he has helped to plant in the hearts and minds of the people of our country will flourish in the years to come, and will make Scotland a better place for all of us.”

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Whiteford Comments on Salmond Statement

Friday, 19 September 2014

Commenting on the statement from First Minister Alex Salmond, Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

"Alex Salmond has served the people of Scotland with passion, vision and immense dedication. His role in shaping the Scottish political landscape over the past 25 years has been immeasurable, and in the last seven years he has transformed the role of First Minister.

"Alex has represented the interests of the people of Banff & Buchan, and East Aberdeenshire without fear or favour. Anyone who knows Alex, knows his extraordinary willingness to make time for his constituents, his determination to improve the lives of our people, and his desire to build a better future for Scotland.

“Alex’s departure as First Minister leaves Scotland with unfinished business in terms of the new powers promised to our parliament, but the seeds of hope and expectation he has helped to plant in the hearts and minds of the people of our country will flourish in the years to come, and will make Scotland a better place for all of us.”

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Bedroom Tax Vote Highlights Need for Independence

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Scottish National Party has said today’s vote in the House of Commons against the Bedroom Tax highlights the need for independence.

SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said that while the vote was a defeat for the UK government, it won’t end the Bedroom Tax.

The Scottish Government has already provided funding to protect those hit by the tax in Scotland.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:

“This vote demonstrates exactly why we need independence.

“This was a defeat for the UK government but it doesn’t end the Bedroom Tax which has caused misery for so many people.

“Every single Scottish MP could vote against the Bedroom Tax and we would still be faced with it because we can be outvoted by Tory votes from the south.

“Labour’s hypocrisy on this issue is simply breathtaking – every single one of their Scottish MPs is working hand in glove in the No campaign with the Tory Government who have given us the Bedroom Tax in the first place.

“Labour seem more interested in playing tribal party politics than in giving Scotland the powers to scrap the Bedroom Tax once and for all. The SNP have already voted to end the Bedroom Tax – a vote which Labour failed to turn up for.

“Independence will mean we never again have to put up with policies like the Bedroom Tax, the Poll Tax and Trident imposed by Tory Governments we didn’t elect.

“We will take no lectures from Scottish Labour MPs who are joined at the hip with their Tory friends to try and prevent Scotland governing itself.”

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Whiteford Welcomes Independence Boost for Rural Scotland

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has welcomed Scottish Government proposals to use the powers of independence to boost rural connectivity.

Rural communities are home to almost one fifth of Scotland’s population and contributed more than £32bn to the Scottish economy in 2011. The Scottish Government has set out plans to establish a Rural Connectivity Commission after a YES vote – to consider how to improve issues like mobile and broadband coverage, postal services and transport links for rural Scotland.

Five key gains of independence with regard to rural connectivity have been set out: improving telephone and broadband coverage, delivering fairer parcel and delivery charges, ensuring fairer fuel prices and energy bills, establishing improved transport links and achieving the true potential of rural Scotland’s renewable resources.

Dr Whiteford commented:

“Once again, the Scottish Government is thinking ahead of the curve on rural connectivity. Through the Digital Scotland programme, we are already moving forward with a revolutionary infrastructure investment of £310 million to bring superfast broadband to rural communities as quickly as possible. The investment and the government backing for this project is already yielding dividends. By 2017, we will bring superfast broadband to 95% of Scotland’s homes.

“However, with the full powers of independence however, the Scottish Government will be able to address rural connectivity in the broader sense – taking action to make our rural economy more competitive by, for example, establishing a fuel duty regulator which would keep fuel prices stable, giving business greater certainty and removing the disincentives associated with high rural fuel prices.

“The Scottish Government is determined to encourage and develop our rural economy – a Yes vote gives us the full ability to pursue this ambition.”

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