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Scottish Labour is promising a new voice for the islands after local members backed Torcuil Crichton as their prospective General Election candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

The well-known journalist and Gaelic broadcaster was endorsed by Labour members as their candidate for the Westminster Parliament at the first of a series of island meetings starting in Stornoway on Thursday night. 

Crichton from Swordale in Point, Lewis, has reported on politics in Westminster for more than 20 years and is a regular commentator on national and local radio and television.

Speaking to members at the first endorsement meeting, Torcuil promised that he would raise a new voice for the islands.  He said: “In the next election change is coming right across the UK and after 15 years of SNP neglect and Conservative indifference we desperately need change in the islands too.”

“From the scandal of ferry services, depopulation and cuts to council budgets, we need a strong voice to articulate our case and a Labour government which will deliver for the islands.”

Crichton, who is 58, left his post as Westminster Editor of the Daily Record last year to focus on winning Na h-Eileanan an Iar for Labour.

He said: “I know the constituency well from my time at the West Highland Free Press and from my involvement in numerous island projects over the years.

“I have also been a high profile journalist in London reporting and interpreting politics  so I know and how Westminster works and I am recognised in the constituency as a fair and authoritative commentator.” 

“All that experience I view as a political apprenticeship which would serve me well as a Labour voice for our island communities.”