Shropshire Star

Scottish Lib Dems appoint ex-deputy first minister as election campaign chairman

Lord Wallace will lead the party’s efforts north of the border ahead of the General Election on July 4.

Lord Wallace

Former Scottish deputy first minister Lord Wallace is to act as campaign chairman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the General Election, the party has announced.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said he has asked Lord Wallace – who twice served as acting first minister – to take charge of the campaign because “he is a proven election winner”.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “Under his leadership, the Scottish Liberal Democrats secured their best election results and played a key part in delivering devolution and the Scottish Parliament.

“As deputy first minister and acting first minister, he delivered pioneering freedom of information legislation and free personal care, passed the smoking ban and introduced the free bus pass. Every Scottish Government since has been a pale shadow.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said Lord Wallace is a ‘proven election winner’ (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Unlike the SNP, he knows how to deliver good government and get the basics right. I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this role.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton went on to urge people to vote for his party to make “change happen”, saying: “People deserve a fair deal and local champions who will work tirelessly to get you GP and dentist access, lift up Scottish education, and stop sewage being dumped in our rivers.”

Lord Wallace said he is “delighted to be stepping into this role as the election campaign gets under way”.

In a long career in politics, he served as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, becoming deputy first minister just after the first Holyrood election in 1999 thanks to a coalition between his party and Labour.

He served as acting first minister following the death of Donald Dewar and again following the resignation of Henry McLeish.

He has also been the advocate general for Scotland, a role which involves advising the UK Government on matters of Scottish law, and was part of the Calman Commission which examined Holyrood’s powers in 2007.

In addition, he was the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland between May 2021 and 2022.

Lord Wallace said: “There was a time you could see your GP on the day you rang for an appointment, when schools were world class, when ferries worked, when it was so much easier to buy your first home and our economy was growing.

“For years the SNP and Conservatives have been ignoring the people who do most of the heavy lifting. You’re working harder but it feels like you’re falling further behind – like you are being taken for granted.

“Scotland badly needs to change direction. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats at this election is a vote for a strong local champion who will stand up for your community and health services.”

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