Shetland by-election: Nicola Sturgeon accused of 'only caring when there are votes to be won'

The Scottish Conservatives have accused the First Minister of only caring about Shetland when there are votes to be won.
The Scottish Conservatives have accused the First Minister of only caring about Shetland when there are votes to be won.
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Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised for 'only caring about Shetland when there are votes to be won' after it was revealed she has made as many trips to the island in the last month as any SNP First Minister has done in the last seven years.

A list of First Minister visits to the island was provided following a parliamentary question by Jamie Halco-Johnston, which showed just three trips between 2012 and 2019.

The Scottish Conservatives have now accused Ms Sturgeon of “only caring about Shetland when there are votes to be won”.

And they suggested that the official First Minister visits could even have been made by her predecessor Alex Salmond, as she only became SNP leader in 2014.

Since the beginning of the Shetland by-election campaign, which has become increasingly bitter in the run-up to the August 29 polling day, the First Minister has visited Shetland three times.

Today Brydon Goodland, Scottish Conservative candidate for Shetland, said: “The First Minister has barely been out of Shetland during this by-election campaign.

“We have been graced with three visits, but these records show that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP only care about Shetland when there are votes to be won.

“The people of Shetland need an MSP and a party that will stand up for this area all year round, not just when there is a parliamentary seat at stake.

“The Scottish Conservatives will fight the corner of our key industries here in Shetland and help local people get a better deal on transport and funding from Holyrood.”

And Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said: “These figures sum up the SNP’s approach to this by-election in a nutshell.

“Nicola Sturgeon is never normally seen in these parts, but now there is an election on the line, the First Minister and party activists are flooding into Shetland.

“People will see through this charade and understand that they need a representative at parliament that won’t be a fair weather friend, but a champion for this area every day of the year.”

The SNP has been approached for comment.