Former Borders MP Calum Kerr is planning a return to frontline politics.
At the time of going to press, a general election had not been called, but it’s expected to happen sooner rather than later and political parties are jostling for position.
And determined to give the Borders a voice in the UK Parliament, the SNP Westminster campaign committee for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency has chosen Mr Kerr to contest the seat.
An experienced hand, he successfully represented the area between 2015 and 2017, making a significant impact on behalf of the people of the Borders as the SNP party’s spokesperson on farming, rural policy and telecommunications.
However, he lost his seat when then prime minister Theresa May called a snap election to try and bolster the Tories’ position going into Brexit talks.
Despite John Lamont winning the Borders seat with 51.7% of the vote, the Conservatives ended up losing others, and with more Tory MPs quitting the party since, there is now a minority government.
Gail Hendry, convener of the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency association of the SNP. said: “We need to be prepared for all eventualities and finding the right person to represent this constituency was easy because of Calum’s proven and impressive track record in working across party boundaries and on behalf of all constituents who sought his help.”
Drawing on his parliamentary experience, Mr Kerr has continued his public service work over the last two years, including as voluntary chair of the Borders Citizens Advice Consortium, whilst, at the same time, pursuing his career in telecommunications.
Born in Galashiels, Mr Kerr lives in the Borders with his wife and three children, and has firm roots in the area – his parents met at Kelso High School when they were teenagers.
On hearing the news of his unopposed candidacy, Mr Kerr said: “It is a great honour to be confirmed as the SNP candidate for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.
“We need an MP who will stand up and fight for what is best for our region and give the Borders a much-needed voice from the green benches in Westminster.
“It’s time to think of all our futures.
“It’s time to make a positive choice for the Borders and give us the right to choose our own future.”
Mr Kerr said the return to politics was an easy decision to make because of the crucial role the Borders will play in the next general election.
He told us: “With Brexit looming and all the uncertainty it threatens to bring, it’s more urgent than ever to give the Borders its voice back. No matter your politics in the past, it’s time to vote SNP.”