South of Scotland SNP MSP Christine Grahame has told Tory MSP John Lamont to get on with the job he has been elected to do instead of chasing a job at Westminster for the fourth time.
Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement on Tuesday of a snap General Election on June 8, Mr Lamont has not yet thrown his hat in the ring – although he is considered favourite to represent his party, given his strong showing in the 2015 General Election, when the SNP’s Calum Kerr beat him to the post by just 328 votes.
Also, his high profile locally as a standing MSP would seem to make him the logical choice.
Commenting on the election announcement, Ms Grahame said: “I am asking John Lamont and his Tory colleagues in the Borders to get on with being MSPs, which is what they were elected and paid to do.
“I don’t hold out much hope that Mr Lamont will take heed. He’s stood for election to Westminster three times already and, although a three-time loser, it looks like he will stand a fourth time.
“He’s desperate to leave Scotland and obviously does not value his job as an MSP. With Calum Kerr MP and with my council colleagues, we will all be getting on with our day jobs.”
Mr Lamont welcomed his Westminster boss’s announcement this week.
He said: “I very much welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement and agree an election in June is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the UK needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.
“Voters in the Borders will have a clear choice between the SNP, who will use this campaign to try and manufacture a case for separation, and the Scottish Conservatives, who will stand up for a strong Government to get the best Brexit deal for Scotland.
“The Borders is currently represented by an MP who is pushing for a re-run of the Scottish independence referendum and who does not accept the result of the UK wide EU referendum last year. The Borders and the UK deserves a strong Government, not the division and political game playing that the SNP and Labour are obsessed with.
“Local party members will be selecting the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk in the coming days.”
Ms Grahame added: “The SNP will fight this election by standing up for Scotland’s interests as always.
“But this is not an election that anyone needed to have right now – it is a Tory game.”