The Scottish Borders constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (BRS) is the most marginal seat in Scotland with just a few hundred votes between the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives.
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 Scottish Borders and the UK deserves a strong Government, not the division and political game playing that the SNP and Labour are obsessed with.
I have now been selected as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for BRS and have announced that I will resign as MSP for the Borders.
It has been a great privilege to serve the people of the Borders in the Scottish Parliament for the last 10 years. During that time, I have worked as hard as I could to represent every community, no matter how small. I have held over 1000 local advice surgeries and assisted tens of thousands of local residents with problems and cases. I have always put local people before party politics.
I want to continue that service to the Borders as a Member of Parliament and my approach to this important job will be exactly the same as it has been.
This is one of the most important General Elections Scotland has ever had. In the Borders, it will be straight fight between myself and the SNP. I have decided to stand down as an MSP to allow me to focus all of my energy on this important contest and to ensure that the electorate have a clear choice between the two contenders.
I’ve taken this decision because I believe that I am best placed to help increase the number of Scottish Conservative and Unionist MPs at Westminster so we can stop the SNP bandwagon in its tracks. With this decision, no one can doubt my commitment to representing the Borders to the best of my ability.
If you want to help stop the SNP using this election to further their plans for a second independence referendum, please volunteer your time, and if you can, your money.
My priorities for the Scottish Borders:
Campaigning to secure local jobs and opportunities for our young people
Creating new jobs in the Borders will allow our young people to stay in the area and also attract new families who, in turn, will use local services.
Working to bring fast and reliable broadband to every community, no matter how small
In this day and age, every household should be able to access a good broadband service. If elected, I will continue to champion improved broadband services across the Borders.
A champion for investment in local roads and transport links across all of the Borders
Whether it be properly maintained roads, improved bus links or extended rail links, more needs to be done to ensure that all residents can travel around the Borders easily.
Supporting our local high streets and small businesses
Our high streets are the focal points for many of our communities. But many of them need investment. More also needs to be done to attract new businesses into the Borders.
Defending local NHS services and schools
Those working in the NHS and local schools do tremendous work on our behalf. I will continue to support them in everything that they do, to allow them to do the best possible job.