Eilidh Whiteford


Whiteford Selected as SNP Candidate for UK Election

Friday, 30 January 2015

Eilidh Whiteford has been re-selected to contest the Banff & Buchan constituency for the Scottish National Party at the UK General Election on 7 May.

Eilidh was the sole nominee and was unanimously re-selected by SNP branches within the constituency. This will be Eilidh’s second election campaign for Banff & Buchan, having won the seat in the 2010 election.
Since succeeding Alex Salmond as Banff & Buchan’s MP, Eilidh has maintained the high work-rate which constituents have come to expect from their SNP representatives, dealing with literally thousands of cases on behalf of local people and raising concerns with Government Ministers and public officials, being accessible through surgeries and visits to community groups, and is assiduous in speaking up for Banff & Buchan in the House of Commons, as evidenced by her “well above-average” number of contributions to debates.

Speaking following her nomination, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“It has been my great honour and privilege to represent the people of Banff & Buchan in the Westminster Parliament for these past 5 years and I am very pleased to have been reselected to stand again in May’s election.

“I’m very proud to have been selected once again by the local SNP as their candidate. Locally, the party goes into this campaign in better heart and better resourced than ever before. With a huge increase in membership during the last four months and with roots in all parts of this wonderful constituency the SNP is relishing this campaign.

“I will be standing on my record of speaking up for my constituents, be that at Westminster or in my approaches on their behalf to public bodies, and on seeking to secure the best deal from government, be that at Westminster, Scottish or local level, for Banff & Buchan.

“In the course of the campaign I will outline my priorities and use the campaign to highlight several local issues from across the constituency. But with the SNP currently standing at over 40% in the opinion polls for Westminster and if this translated into MPs we could secure our largest ever group of MPs and possibly hold the balance of power. We will ensure that the powers promised for Scotland are delivered and we will use any and every opportunity to progress Scotland’s agenda and deliver for the people of Scotland.”

Convener of Banff & Buchan SNP Norma Thomson added:

“Eilidh has been a first class representative for Banff & Buchan during her time in office and I’m delighted she has been reselected unanimously to be the SNP candidate at the forthcoming UK General Election.

“She has spoken up in the House of Commons for Banff & Buchan and its people without fear or favour and has one of the best records for doing so amongst all MPs across all the parties and we’re fortunate to have such a good local candidate as our MP.”


'Modo Matters' Says Local MP

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has praised the work of CircoModo Aberdeenshire. The SNP MP was attending the 'Modo Matters' Awards last night in Peterhead where she presented the Saltire Ascent Awards.

Martin Danziger and Eilidh Whiteford MP with
some of the young people involved in CircoModo
Commenting, Eilidh said:

“I was delighted to be able to present these awards to so many talented young people.

“Modo is a real asset to the community and the shows they have put on over the years in Macduff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Mintlaw have been truly spectacular.

“While everyone can appreciate the spectacle of the public performance, in a lot of ways, the real value of Modo is the work it does with young people in developing their confidence, helping them to work in co-operation with others and giving them a sense of pride in what they do and in their civic community.

“Martin Danziger and his team deserve our thanks for their efforts and I look forward to the next community event from Modo.”


"Westminster Holds the Purse-Strings" on Scotland's Budget

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


The Scottish National Party has today supported calls for increased public spending on the NHS in England following a debate in the House of Commons.

Speaking during the debate, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The reality of devolution is that Westminster holds the purse strings. The funding formula by which the devolved governments receive their block grants is directly related to budget decisions made for England in devolved policy areas.

“The truth is that there has been a 10% cut in Scotland’s fiscal resource budget since 2010, and a 26% real terms cut in Scotland’s capital budget. Nevertheless, the Scottish Government has increased the Health resource budget by 4.6% in real terms – and every penny of additional budget consequentials accruing from health spending has been spent on health. This coming year, health spending in Scotland will break the £12 billion pound barrier for the first time.

“The practical consequences of increased health spending in Scotland can be seen in record staffing levels – up 6.5% overall, with record numbers of consultants, over 1700 more nurses, and a 7% increase in GPs under the SNP Government.

“Efforts to join-up health and social care that are threatened by the austerity agenda and the cuts that both front benches seem to have shackled themselves to. Local authority budgets are already under pressure and further cuts in the public services they provide, including the preventative and early interventions they fund, risks driving up still further the pressures on the NHS.”


Large Turnout for SNP Burns Supper in Fraserburgh

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Around 180 guests attended last Saturday night’s Scottish National Party Burns Supper, held at Fraserburgh Leisure Centre. Former First Minister Alex Salmond MSP was guest of honour and proposed the immortal memory.

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford chaired the evening’s proceedings, while Keith & Cullen councillor Gary Coull proposed the Toast to the Lassies, which was replied to by Cllr Pearl Paul, Leader of the SNP Group on Moray Council. Recitations were provided throughout the evening from Kevin Lamb and Sandy Noble gave the Address to the Haggis in fine style.

Commenting, local MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

"I was delighted with the huge turnout, which is testament to the big increase in SNP membership experienced locally. The attendance at the Burns Supper is one of the biggest we’ve had and meant we had to put a limit on the number of tickets we could sell.

“Credit must go to the management and staff at Fraserburgh Leisure Centre for their efficiency on the night and of course the excellent meal they provided.

“The SNP in Banff & Buchan is going from strength to strength thanks to the efforts of our hardworking team of volunteers, which has expanded greatly over the last few months.”


Coalition Cuts Hitting Young Families Hardest

The coalition’s changes to benefits and direct taxes have hurt families with children under five harder than any other household group, according to the most comprehensive evaluation yet of the UK government’s social policy record.

The report – prepared by a group of academics overseen by the LSE and the Universities of Manchester and York – also said that the poorest were the hardest hit, and that the cuts to welfare were offset by the cost of tax cuts higher up the income scale, with no overall contribution to paying down the deficit.

The report concludes that the government’s stated aim that the rich should contribute proportionately more to repairing the country's finances has “not been realised”.

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“This report lays bare the extent of the UK government's disastrous austerity agenda.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to mitigate the impact of welfare cuts, but the real powers over tax and welfare still remain in Westminster – despite the fact that the UK government has proven time and time again it cannot be trusted to look out for our most vulnerable people.

“While the SNP voted against continued austerity from Westminster, Scottish Labour sided with the coalition and voted for £30bn more austerity which, as this report shows, hits the poorest the hardest. 

“A strong team of SNP MPs will ensure that Scotland's priorities will become Westminster's priorities, and force an end to failed austerity."


MP Calls for Treasury to Take Urgent Action to Protect North Sea Jobs

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, has called on the UK Government to take urgent action on tax in order to protect North Sea jobs, in a debate held in Westminster this week.

With a falling oil price, a number of announcements of job losses have been made by oil operators, including the announcement by Talisman Sinopec this week that they would shed up to 300 jobs. Last week, the Scottish Government launched an Energy Jobs Taskforce to combat job losses.

In a debate at Westminster, Dr. Whiteford called for the UK Treasury to immediately act on the tax regime for North Sea oil and gas companies to encourage investment. Speaking after the debate, Dr. Whiteford commented:

“Reform to the oil and gas fiscal regime must not wait until the budget, but must be implemented now and this should include a commitment from the UK Government to a substantial reduction in the Supplementary Charge rate, which they introduced in 2011 to disastrous effect. In addition, faster progress is also required on the establishment of the Oil and Gas Authority.

“The North Sea has suffered from an unstable and unpredictable fiscal regime for decades and companies now need urgent action in order to avoid the premature decommissioning of assets and the loss of highly skilled workers.

“Successive Westminster governments have been quick to squeeze the industry at any opportunity, but when support is needed they are far slower off the mark.

"A strong team of SNP MPs after the General Election will ensure that the needs of the sector cannot be put on the back burner, and that Westminster takes the action that is needed to protect jobs in the sector.”


Whiteford Makes a Stand in Parliament Against Nuclear Weapons

Scottish Labour vote with Tories to spend £100bn on new weapons

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford made a stand in Parliament against nuclear weapons this week, voting to oppose the renewal of the £100bn Trident system.

The SNP’s motion debate at Westminster sought to cancel the next generation of deadly Trident nuclear weapons. Scottish Labour had threatened to boycott the debate but in an extraordinary decision – for the second time in two weeks - Labour have voted to support the Tories, this time on spending £100 billion on nuclear weapons. The SNP, together with a progressive alliance of the Greens and Plaid Cymru led the calls to have these weapons cancelled.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"It is absolutely indefensible and morally repugnant to waste £100bn on weapons of mass destruction whilst food bank use is rocketing, and more and more children are being pushed into poverty. I voted to oppose nuclear weapons in Parliament this week so that we can better spend these colossal sums of money on making a positive difference to our society.

"It is a sad indictment of what the Scottish Labour party has become that they voted to support the renewal of Trident - only a week after they voted to push through more Tory cuts.

“With a strong team of SNP MPs after the General Election, Scotland can hold the balance of power and can force Westminster to abandon this disastrous commitment – and ensure these immoral weapons are removed from Scotland for good.”


Parliamentarians Highlight Call for New Volunteers

Monday, 19 January 2015

Mediation service Avenue on the look-out for new counsellors

Local parliamentarians Eilidh Whiteford MP and Stewart Stevenson MSP have urged volunteers to come forward after meeting with a local counselling charity’s managers on Friday.

 Liz Wallace, Stewart Stevenson MSP,
Eilidh Whiteford MP, Arlene Harvey
Dr Whiteford and Mr Stevenson met with Chief Executive Liz Wallace and Contact Centre Manager Arlene Harvey at Avenue’s Peterhead base, to discuss the charity's work in the North-east. Avenue provides a range of counselling and mediation services to families dealing with relationship breakdown, and works with dozens of families locally.

Chief Executive Liz Wallace said:

“Demand for our services has grown exponentially in recent years across the North-east. We are crying out for new volunteers who have the skills to take up this challenging, but deeply rewarding work."

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Whiteford said:

“It was good to hear more about what Avenue does locally, supporting families – largely through the efforts of volunteers.

“It’s a service which is always looking to recruit volunteers able to commit some time on a regular basis, and who receive full training and support, to help with this worthwhile service. I would encourage anyone who thinks they might have a listening ear and some time to spare to come forward."

Mr Stevenson added:

“Without third sector organisations like Avenue, many families would fall through the net. Although the North-east is one of Scotland’s wealthier areas overall, there remain significant problems with deprivation – and the reality is that family breakdown can affect anyone. The work being done at Avenue is invaluable."


MP Highlights Work of Local Cancer Charity

​Peterhead, Turriff and Fraserburgh benefit from support services​

​B​anff​ and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has thanked staff at a local cancer charity for​ ​their hard work, following a meeting on Friday.

Lily Cowie, Eilidh Whiteford MP and Angie Christie
Dr Whiteford met with Area Co-ordinator Angie Christie at the charity's base at the Hot Spot in Peterhead, to discuss CLAN's work locally and to meet with volunteers.

As well as maintaining comfortable hotel-style accommodation in Aberdeen for cancer patients who live a long distance from ARI and their families, the charity offers drop-in support services in Peterhead on Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am-4pm, from its base in the town's Kirk Street. These include counselling, complementary therapies and advice on dealing with cancer and the effects of its treatment. CLAN also runs services in Turriff (Fridays, 10am-4pm), and Fraserburgh (Mondays, 10am-4pm).

Area Co-ordinator Angie Christie said:

​​"We're developing the service locally, and we welcome any help we can get from volunteers or fundraisers."

Speaking afterwards, Dr Whiteford said:

​​"It was great meeting with Angie and the staff at CLAN to find out what the charity does locally. The range of services on offer is huge, and represents an extremely valuable local resource for those living with cancer."


Peterhead Fire - Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP Comments

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Commenting on the fire at the North Bay Pelagic premises in Peterhead this weekend, SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford said :

"This was a major blaze – and crews from Scottish Fire and Rescue brought it under control in the early hours of this morning. Once again they are owed a huge debt of gratitude for their professionalism and bravery. Thankfully, Police Scotland reported no casualties – but there has been considerable disruption to the town.

"This will be a very uncertain time for the workforce. Once the extent of the damage is known – and investigators will start that process - we will be in a better position to assess what kind of assistance might be required."


Whiteford Slams North East Labour MPs for Backing Tory Cuts

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Two North-east Labour MPs vote with Conservatives for further austerity

It has been revealed 28 Scottish Labour MPs voted with the UK Government last night for £75 billion of cuts and tax rises.

Those voting with the Conservative Government for further austerity included two North-east Labour MPs, Anne Begg and Frank Doran.

Commenting, MP for Banff & Buchan and SNP Westminster Spokesperson for Work & Pensions, Eilidh Whiteford, said:

“Labour have shown their true colours in siding with the Tories, and it shows even more clearly that only by voting SNP can Westminster's obsession with imposing austerity cuts be changed.

“The Conservatives are committed to continued austerity which will hit Scottish public services- and they have now been backed by Scottish Labour.

“The consequences of austerity are all too plain to see in my own constituency and across the North-east, so it is particularly disappointing to see two Labour MSPs for the North-east side with the Conservatives. It will be ordinary, hard-working people in their constituencies who will continue to suffer and those people should not be paying the price for the mess that the Tories and Labour got us into in the first place.

“The SNP in government has a strong record on protecting our public services and supporting public sector workers – including the recent additional funding announced for NHS Grampian. But the impact of Westminster’s austerity agenda is continuing to be felt – and with more cuts being passed down the line , the strain on our vital public services will only increase.”


Parliamentarians Pay Tribute to Last Provost of Foggie

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan, and MSP Stewart Stevenson have paid tribute to former Aberchirder provost Robert Bremner, who passed away at the age of 95.

Mr Bremner, known affectionately as ‘Bingo’, was the last provost for the Burgh of Aberchirder in the mid-1970s. His community involvement spanned countless groups, with a notable contribution as President of Deveronvale Football Club.

Eilidh Whiteford commented:

“I was very sad to hear of Bingo’s passing. He was involved in so many community groups that different people will remember him for different things and that is a testament to his community spirit.”

“For my own part, I will never forget some of the first election results announcements that I attended. Having won a mandate from the people, Bingo would sign-off on stage by declaring ‘Foggieloan forever!’ He was a true character and will be greatly missed in his community.”

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson added:

“Bingo was very active in community matters and I last saw him sitting on the dais at the Aberchirder 250th Anniversary celebrations in The Square taking in everything that was going on.

“It’s a mark of the man that he sponsored the production of a lapel badge with the Burgh arms on it to be given to every school pupil in the town. It’s the end of an era for Foggie and my condolences go to his family at this time.”


Banff & Buchan MP Welcomes Additional Funding for NHS Grampian

Monday, 12 January 2015

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has hailed the announcement of extra funding for NHS Grampian as a clear demonstration of the SNP’s commitment to ensuring Scotland’s NHS gets the resources it needs.

Health Secretary Shona Robison today announced that NHS Grampian will receive an extra £15.2 million in 2015/16 to help with the rising cost pressures facing the NHS.

In total the uplift for NHS Grampian for next year now stands at £49.1 million. This represents a 6% increase in funding from last year, the biggest percentage uplift of any mainland NHS board in Scotland.

Commenting, SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Patients will be delighted to see this extra investment in healthcare in Grampian. The cost pressures facing our NHS are challenging and additional funding of £49million for NHS Grampian next year – more than any other health board in mainland Scotland – is a recognition that these challenges can be amplified in an area as diverse as Grampian.”

“Whilst NHS Grampian has been facing some organisational difficulties in recent months, patient care has remained robust. With a new management team and now substantial additional funding for next year, I hope patients will be able to expect a noticeably improved performance.”

“Amidst the heightening of General Election activities, some political parties have sought to use our NHS as a political football. The investment in healthcare in Grampian from the Scottish Government today is a clear indication that the SNP has a determination to improve health outcomes in Scotland, and not just pay lip service to our NHS.”


Charities Call on Tory Minister to Halt Universal Credit

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Commenting on the news several charities have written to Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to call for a halt to Universal Credit, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Several charities have united to call on the UK government to immediately suspend the further implementation of Universal Credit in Scotland until the process of legislating new powers for the Scottish Parliament is complete.

“The implementation of Universal Credit has been a fiasco from the start with officials being unable to explain the reasoning behind their timescales or their feasibility, inept computer systems, and no real management. There is real concern that driving through Universal Credit at this stage will cause additional, unnecessary administrative complication.

“Iain Duncan Smith should recognise this call from across civic Scotland, to ensure our most vulnerable people do not suffer.”


Local MP & MSP Comment on Banff Tesco Announcement

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford and local MSP Stewart Stevenson have reacted to today’s announcement from Tesco on its intention to no longer develop the Canal Park site at Banff.

Click for STV story on Tesco plans across Scotland
The supermarket giant cited its recent poor business performance as the reason for cancelling 49 planned new stores in the UK, including the store earmarked for Banff.

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council on Monday to discuss the full implications of the announcement by Tesco that it will cancel its commitment to build a new store in Banff.

Commenting on the announcement, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

"Tesco's announcement that it is cancelling plans for a new store in Banff will doubtlessly be viewed by local folk as a frustrating and disappointing conclusion to a saga that has rumbled on for a number of years.

"I have today sought an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the local council to discuss the full range of implications of this decision for the local community and the development of sports and recreation facilities in Banff and Macduff, which were an integral part of this plan.”

Today’s announcement comes almost exactly 10 years after local MSP Stewart Stevenson held a referendum on the then controversial proposals by Tesco to build on Canal Park. The referendum, which was conducted by post and had a 66% turnout, resulted in a 65%-35% vote in favour of allowing Tesco to proceed on the basis that money from the sale of the land would be used to fund sports and recreation facilities.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“Tesco have been working on this development for over 10 years. Even with a clear indication of the support within the community to proceed it has taken an inordinate length of time to get to the position last year where designs for the new sports facilities were being consulted upon.

“The issue here is not so much that people want to see a huge supermarket on the outskirts of Banff but is about just wanting the eyesore which is currently there to be developed and also not holding back the provision of much-needed enhanced sporting and recreation facilities for Banff and Macduff.

“I will be contacting Tesco’s senior management on this as a matter of urgency as I do not want to see Canal Park and the associated buildings left in their current position for another 10 years."


Families Set to Save £330 per Year with School Meals Pledge

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

SNP MP for Banff & Buchan Dr Eilidh Whiteford has highlighted the importance of the introduction of free school meals for all pupils in Primary 1 to Primary 3 with 135,000 children across the country expected to benefit and families of every eligible child saving at least £330 per year.

The move – which is being provided with £70.5m in revenue funding and £24.8m in additional capital funding by the Scottish Government – will provide P1-P3 children with guaranteed access to a healthy, nutritious meal and could positively shape children’s eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The policy has been supported by campaigning organisations across civic Scotland including Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, trade unions and Children in Scotland.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“That all P1-P3 children will be entitled to a free school meal is a major step forward – and is a policy which will benefit pupils and their families alike.

“We all know that the early years of a child’s life are the most crucial and can shape their habits for a lifetime – so ensuring our children have access to a healthy lunch could see real improvements in Scotland’s public health in the future.

“Ensuring the youngest pupils in our schools have access to healthy and nutritious lunches can also play an important role in improving attainment and helping pupils to achieve their best in class.

“As well as helping our children to be healthier and achieve more in school, this policy will also provide a real boost to family budgets in tough financial times – with families benefiting to the tune of £330 per year for every eligible child.

“That 135,000 children will now have access to a healthy, free school meal is another example of the Scottish Government taking real action to make our country a better place - and I am very proud that it is the SNP who are taking this important measure forward.”


Whiteford Warns UK Government Uncertainty Could Put Offshore Wind Industry At Risk

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford has warned that uncertainty caused by UK Government policy could put the offshore wind industry in jeopardy, putting at risk the potential to create a substantial number of jobs in Scotland as well as clean, sustainable energy.

The SNP MP was speaking in a debate earlier today on the future of the industry due to the impact of the current Contract For Difference (CfD) regime.

Speaking in the debate Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“I have a strong constituency interest in the development of offshore wind energy, in that one of the projects bidding for support in the first allocation round of contract for difference is based in the Moray Firth.

“Several of the ports along the Moray Firth could benefit from the development of offshore renewables, with significant potential spin-offs for a wider supply chain bringing much-needed economic development to the area. I am sure other coastal communities also have the potential to benefit from such economic diversification, which is key to the future prosperity of such communities. In the north-east, there is also an understanding that the skills utilised in the offshore oil and gas sector are eminently transferrable to the offshore renewables industry, as well as a sense that we should grasp the opportunities to develop new and innovative technologies on our doorstep by building on our existing strengths.

“Today’s debate takes place in the context of energy market reform. We should always remember that that is not only about keeping the lights on, bringing consumer prices under control and repairing a broken system, but about climate change and the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate, or adapt to, the effects of climate change that are already manifest.”

Dr Whiteford urged the UK Government to make a clear declaration of support for the industry, stating:

“Developers need confidence for forward investment decisions. The UK Government needs to make it clear they will continue to support offshore wind.

“There’s a grave danger that the UK Government will pull the rug out from under a fledgling industry before it has a chance to establish itself, and other countries will develop the technologies that could bring investment and jobs to Scottish coastal communities.”


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