East Lothian Labour Party has chosen Prestonpans resident Colin Yorkston as its candidate for the Preston/Seton/Gosford ward by-election to be held on 20 January next year.

Colin was brought up in the ward and lives in Prestonpans with his wife Dawn, who works as a nurse, and their daughters. He is a chemistry teacher at a secondary school in Edinburgh and an active member of the EIS teaching union.

Colin has been closely involved in numerous community organisations and groups over the years, including formerly being an active member of the Parent Councils at the Infant and Primary Schools in Prestonpans and Chair of Preston Lodge Parent Council until 2018. He is also a Trustee of the Preston Lodge Learning Foundation.

He was the agent for the Labour candidates in the Preston/Seton/Gosford ward at the last local elections in 2017 and has been Chair of East Lothian Labour Party since 2018.

Speaking about his candidacy, Colin Yorkston said:

“I’m delighted to have been chosen as the Scottish Labour and Co-operative Party candidate in this by-election. This is not an election anyone wanted, following the sad death of Willie Innes. He was Prestonpans’ greatest champion, a wonderful advocate for this ward and someone that I was privileged to work with and to call a friend.

“While I can never hope to replace Willie and what he meant to this area, I will certainly be guided by the same Labour values that drove his work as a councillor and demonstrate the same dedication he showed to the people and communities that make up this ward. I’m honoured to have been entrusted with the job of being our candidate and will give it my all in the weeks ahead.”

Labour Leader of the Council, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said:

“All of us who knew and worked with Willie are still reeling from his loss. Nobody wanted to have a by-election, but electoral law requires it. Under the circumstances, I’m absolutely delighted that we have such a first-rate candidate in Colin. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, especially on education issues.”

Sitting Labour councillor for Preston/Seton/Gosford, Fiona O’Donnell, said:

“Colin is a really outstanding choice as our candidate. He will be a fantastic representative for the ward, as well as an excellent addition to the Labour team and the whole Council. He did a brilliant job as my agent at the 2017 election and I’m looking forward to joining him on the campaign trail over the next few weeks.”

Martin Whitfield MSP, who has worked closely with Mr Yorkston over the last few years, said:

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Colin has been chosen as our candidate. While none of us wanted a by-election, Colin is certainly the best person to take on the task of following in Willie’s footsteps. He will be a hard-working, approachable and articulate champion for all the communities that make up the ward and I’m excited to get to work supporting his campaign.”

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