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Renew Scotland launches its Scottish election campaign

By David Porter

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Renew Scotland has today launched its campaign for the Scottish Parliament election in May 2021 and unveiled its initial set of candidates who will stand on the regional lists.

Colin MacFadyen will stand for Renew Scotland on the North East Regional vote
Colin MacFadyen will stand for Renew Scotland on the North East Regional vote

“Renew Scotland aims to give the people of Scotland the choice of a different path, one that will lead to political reform, consequences for politicians who break the rules, elected officials that put the needs of their constituents first and a raft of policies that put Scotland’s people and their needs at the heart of government,” said Renew Scotland’s joint leader, Heather Astbury.

“Scotland has been governed by the SNP since 2007, 14 years, and in that time, they have failed to improve the lives of Scots in the crucial devolved issues that they have been responsible for.

"As a reminder, the issues that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament are the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation.

"The power to set a Scottish rate of income tax has also been added recently.

“The latest statistics show that Scots now have the lowest life expectancy of any country in Western Europe and lower than many in Eastern Europe, with the causes being linked to poverty and deprivation.”

Renew was set up in 2017 by a group of people disillusioned by the current state of British politics.

The party has fielded candidates in some local council elections, the EU Parliament election in 2019, the 2019 General Election in 2019 and several by-elections.

Renew now has elected councillors and a growing grassroots support base.

Not funded by large corporations, overseas donors, trades unions or lobby groups, but by its membership, Renew Scotland believes it can genuinely represent the people.

Bruce Henderson, joint leader of Renew Scotland, explained: “We have no party whip system, and we are not funded by any group with an agenda to push, so we can propose the policies we believe will benefit our constituents and fight for what is best for them and for Scotland.

“We believe strongly in the need for a criminal code that politicians and elected officials are subject to.

"The ongoing destruction of the moral code of people in public office is becoming normalised and we must put an end to it.

"People in positions of responsibility, such as elected officials, must be held to a higher standard than the rest of society, not use their power and influence to break or bend the rules for their own personal gain.

“The rise of poverty in Scotland has also become normalised and this is a disgrace.

"We seem to accept that older people will die in winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly; that children will go to school hungry because their families can’t afford to feed them. "This needs to stop.

"We are a relatively rich country and yet we have levels of poverty that should be a national embarrassment. Renew Scotland will work to end poverty in Scotland; not just child poverty or fuel poverty but all poverty.”

Renew Scotland supports the right of the Scottish people to decide their future and would support calls for a second referendum on Independence if that was the will of the people.

Henderson added: “Much has changed since the 2014 referendum, especially Brexit, and what the people voted for then, to remain in the UK and the EU, is no longer an option.

"However, we don’t believe it should be just a binary yes or no, in or out Brexit-style question.

"If Independence is chosen as the path the people of Scotland want to go down, then we need to spend time working out what that path would lead to.

Renew Scotland is working with Volt Scotland in this election and is fielding candidates on the regional lists as follows:

Glasgow - Ben Meechan, Andrea Kozlowski of Volt Scotland, standing for Renew Scotland.

West of Scotland - Peter Morton.

North-east Scotland - Colin McFadyen.

Mid Scotland and Fife - Bruce Henderson, Stefan Diesing of Volt Scotland, standing for Renew Scotland.

Lothian - Heather Astbury, Anna Freemantle-Zee.

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