Monday, May 10, 2021
Voters in the Scottish constituency of Airdrie and Shotts are to go to the polls on May 13 to elect a replacement member of parliament (MP) to the United Kingdom House of Commons.
The outgoing MP for the seat is Neil Gray — a representative of the pro-independence Scottish National Party — was resigning to run in the Scottish Parliament election, which was to occur on May 6. Gray won the seat with 45.1% of the vote at the 2019 general election, winning 13.1% more than the second placed candidate Helen McFarlane of the Scottish Labour party, who received 32.0% of the votes.
One of the eight candidates running in this constituency is Jonathan Stanley of the Scottish Unionist Party. Stanley was selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for this seat in September, after it was announced Gray would be seeking nomination in the Scottish Parliament. Stanley is also running in the Scottish Parliament election, running as a list candidate in the Lothian region for the Alliance 4 Unity party.
Wikinews spoke to Stanley about important issues issues both nationwide and in Airdrie and Shotts.
Stanley provided two links each alongside the answers to the first two questions. For the first question, these were opinion pieces written by him, and for the second, these were press releases from a think tank Stanley is involved in. Those four links are cited in the external links section.
The first opinion piece addresses housing, calling for, among other things, social housing to be restricted to those who have resided in the UK for ten years or more, a 20% stamp duty on houses sold to foreigners, and abolishing income tax relief for “buy to let” mortgages. The second opinion piece addressed a hate speech law passed by the Scottish Parliament, and said it threatened freedoms and “families[‘] privacy and security of their homes”.
The two press releases concerned COVID-19. The first, published in late January 2020, called for mass flu and pneumococcal vaccination for high risk groups and the banning of flights to and from China, except medical relief flights. The second, published on 15 March 2020, called for a number of things, including the closure of the UK border, a national lockdown, Universal Credit for all during the crisis, a guarantee of essential utilities, and national procurement of ventilators.