Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard MSP met local campaigners at the Scottish Parliament yesterday as they delivered the party’s Hands off Cockenzie petition to Iain Gray MSP.

Mr Gray joined up with the campaigners at Holyrood to accept the petition, which has been signed by over 1,000 people. The county’s MSP then submitted it to SNP Government planning minister Kevin Stewart MSP.

Mr Leonard backed the local Labour party’s demand for the substation planning application to be returned to East Lothian Council by adding his name to the petition before it was submitted to the minister.

Speaking after the Holyrood event, Iain Gray MSP said:

“Sadly, East Lothian is well used to SNP Ministers interfering in local planning issues and imposing unwanted applications on communities here. We have seen it with numerous applications for new housing, as well as with the waste incinerator plant outside Dunbar.

“But Ministers have really overstepped the mark with the call-in of the substation on the former Cockenzie power station site. They claim it is because the site is of national importance, but even the leader of the SNP group on the Council has condemned the decision as unnecessary.

“By signing our petition in such large numbers local people have sent a clear message to ministers that they want East Lothian to decide on decisions about the future of the Cockenzie site. I hope that the SNP will now for once listen to local communities and return this decision to local councillors and communities.”

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