Local Labour Party members have unanimously re-selected sitting MSP Iain Gray as the party’s candidate for the East Lothian constituency in next year’s Scottish parliamentary election.

Members from across the East Lothian Holyrood constituency met in Prestonpans Labour Club yesterday and were unanimous in their decision to back Mr Gray, who has been the MSP since May 2007.

The local party’s Annual General Meeting was held on the same evening, with a new Executive team elected to take forward the party’s work in the crucial Holyrood election year.

Speaking after the meeting, Iain Gray MSP said:

“It has been a great privilege and honour to represent East Lothian in the Scottish Parliament since 2007. I have done my utmost to be a strong voice for local communities and defend the county against the SNP Government’s neglect and incompetence.

“There is no doubt that we face a tough fight here in the months ahead. Despite their many policy failings, particularly on our schools, health service and policing, the SNP continue to ride high in the polls.

“However, this election will be different in that the SNP have to defend their record in power over the last nine years. That record is poor to say the least and we have been particularly badly-served here in East Lothian.

“Whether its opposing the closure of Haddington’s courts, campaigning to keep local police stations open to the public, supporting local decision-making against centralising SNP Ministers or backing the fight against the absurd industrial energy park proposal at Cockenzie, I have always put East Lothian first. I can give local people a guarantee that if they put their faith in me again at the next election, I will continue to put the county’s interests first.

“I aim to show that Labour values of fairness, equality, solidarity and social justice in action, will provide a better life for all our citizens in this great county. I aim to win here in East Lothian next May.”

Cllr Jim Goodfellow, newly elected Chair of East Lothian CLP, said:

“Iain has been an outstanding champion for East Lothian during his time as our MSP. He is without doubt one of the most experienced and effective members of the Scottish parliament and he has consistently defended East Lothian against the SNP’s centralising agenda.

“His track record of helping constituents, being accessible and standing up for East Lothian is second to none. It gives us a strong platform to contest what will certainly be a very hard fought campaign next year. Our team in East Lothian is up for that fight and will be backing Iain every step of the way.”

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