We asked each candidate running for the North Ayrshire and Arran seat why they should be your next MP.

Patricia Gibson – SNP

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

I Have been privileged to represent North Ayrshire and Arran at Westminster since 2015 and now seek re-election as your SNP MP.

During that time, I have worked hard to be a visible and accessible MP and stand up for my constituents, giving voice to what matters to you in Westminster and addressing your concerns in North Ayrshire and Arran.

This constituency has a clear choice to make; more austerity, more unfair policies that impact our pensioners, sick and disabled and more chaos over Brexit, or to back the SNP, giving voice to the values of fairness, equality and dignity for all, while demanding that Scotland is not simply ignored by whichever UK Government middle-England inflicts upon us.

In the last year alone I have participated in 139 Westminster debates on issues that matter to constituents, such as child poverty, the Ayrshire economy, cuts to Universal Credit, rise in foodbank use, online and telephone scams, animal welfare, delivery charges for rural communities and many other issues.

I have led debates on the Ayrshire Growth Deal, pension inequality for women born in the 1950s, pension rights for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and bereavement leave for parents.

I campaigned locally and nationally on bank branch closures that leave so many without banking facilities and our high streets blighted by empty buildings. The Brexit debate that stymied the last three Tory Prime Ministers will rage on. The Tories say they will ‘get Brexit done’, despite not having managed to do so in the last three years. They fail to mention that we could still drop out of the EU with no deal and will certainly still be negotiating our future relationship with them for years to come. I continue to fight for Scotland’s place in Europe. North Ayrshire and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain. We should be forced out against our wishes. We need to ensure that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands.

Cameron Gilmore – Labour

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

You're going to be facing a lot of attempts from other parties to define and control the dialogue of this upcoming election. The other parties want this to be a ‘Brexit’ election or an election which will define a roadmap for or against Scottish Independence. It’s ultimately neither. This Election is your chance to vote for real change in North Ayrshire and Arran and the way to deliver that is through a Labour Government.

Our movement is standing for a Green New Deal. This will put our constituency at the front of the battle against the Climate Crisis and will create jobs, investment in infrastructure and an expansion of renewables to change the way we create our energy supplies. We must act now to combat not only North Ayrshire’s high rates of Unemployment, but to invest for a sustainable future as well. We are standing for a New Working Relationship.

We will end exploitative Zero Hours Contracts and the punishment and insecurity of our ‘Gig Economy’. We will fight for a Living Wage of £10p/h to improve worker’s lives and help combat rising costs of inflation. For those who are out of work, we will end the misery of Universal Credit and replace this with a fairer, comprehensive system that supports families rather than discriminates against them.

We will also fight to save the free TV Licence for over 75s. This is the latest cynical austerity attack from the Conservative Government to pave the way for another round of tax cuts to our country’s wealthiest and should be opposed in the strongest possible terms.

This Election is a choice between having the same tired political wrangle over our Constitutional Crisis that has left our Constituency and our Country in decline for the last decade and having a Government who will invest and deliver real, progressive change from Day 1 of being elected to Westminster.

I’m taking this on to stand for change and deliver a better society which will lock Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage out of power. Accept no half measures. Vote Labour.

David Rocks – Conservative

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

This general Election represents one of the greatest threats to the United Kingdom in living memory. In Scotland we voted to remain part of the UK in that ‘once in a generation’ referendum of which all parties promised to respect the outcome. Now Nicola Sturgeon is intent on using this election as an opportunity to push for a second independence referendum and a re-run of the Brexit referendum.

The Labour Party, that once proud Unionist party, has quite simply given in and given up. Jeremy Corbyn is happy and willing to promise indyref2 in return for the keys to Number 10. Is that really a risk worth taking? It is quite clear that, sadly, we can no longer count on Labour to stand up for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.

I fought this seat in 2017 and slashed the SNP majority from 13,573 to just 3,633. This truly is a two-horse race and the stakes have never been higher.

I am the only candidate who wants to move on from the constitutional arguments of the past, respect the results of both referendums and move our country forward. The choice is clear. It is time to draw a line under recent divisions and look forward to a New Year and a new MP.

In this snap, but much needed, General Election voters in North Ayrshire and Arran have a simple but stark choice: Vote for the SNP, who want to re-run every referendum they have lost and plunge us back into years of division and endless constitutional crisis OR a vote for me and the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

I say: No more referendums, no to indyref2, let’s move on from Brexit and let’s focus on the things that matter to you. Enough is enough! It’s about time North Ayrshire and Arran had an MP who acts in Scotland’s interest, not one filled with grievance and division. So, join me and vote to send a strong message to Nicola Sturgeon: No more referendums.

David Nairn – Green

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:

At this election you will hear a lot of noise from career politicians. Each one trying to outbid each other with empty promises; while the communities of North Ayrshire get forgotten.

Our failed political system is not fit to tackle the problems of the 21st century; a climate emergency, environmental breakdown, individuals facing economic, social and long term inter-generational exclusion.

Instead of elected representatives who work for our communities we have Westminster politicians acting out a pantomime. We need change. Through his work as a marine ecologist and commercial skipper, acknowledged by North Ayrshire Civic Pride Awards for his environmental monitoring work and his grass roots campaigning with the Clyde Marine Mammal Project; David has seen firsthand the damage the current politics are doing to the environment.

As your elected representative he will work to: halt caged fish farm expansion; end the barbaric shooting of seals; create a three-mile limit for destructive fishing methods; safeguard environmental protections by opposing Brexit. David is not another politician only interested in his community at election time. He is a key member of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde group, and has demanded meaningful environmental appraisal for oil rig decommissioning proposals at Hunterston.

He is an active community councillor, represents community and environmental interests on the Hunterston liaison group, and is a strong advocate of community participation in planning and environmental decision making.

From the beauty of its hills, Garnock Valley, coastal towns and islands, North Ayrshire and Arran has a wealth of untapped natural capital. Opportunities for growth in sustainable tourism and related businesses. However, this potential is threated by plans to expand fish farming, by the shooting of seals and by over-zealous developments that ignore our communities.