26 June 2011

Local SNP Marks Tenth Anniversary Of Stewart Stevenson's Election

Banffshire & Buchan Coast SNP commemorated the tenth anniversary of the election of Stewart Stevenson to the Scottish Parliament with a dinner at the Ban Car Hotel, Lonmay attended by around 100 guests.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP acted as Master of Ceremonies and introduced guest speakers for the evening First Minister Alex Salmond and BBC Scotland ‘Landward’ and ‘Out of Doors’ presenter Euan McIlwraith.

A very special guest for the evening was Alex Farquhar who was the SNP’s candidate for East Aberdeenshire at the 1970 General Election, which was where the SNP made its breakthrough in the North-east by coming a close second to the Conservatives for the first time ever and created the conditions for the seat to be won by the late Douglas Henderson four years later.

First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to Stewart Stevenson’s work over the past ten years as constituency MSP and as a Minister in the Scottish Government, while Euan McIlwraith entertained the guests with his reflections on the election night count as a BBC journalist covering the results from the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.

Alex Farquhar amused the company with his tales from the 1970 campaign trail and expressed his delight at being back among so many old friends from then, chief among them his Campaign Organiser and now Honorary President of Peterhead Branch SNP, Bob Ritchie.

Speaking at the event, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“First and foremost, the record of electoral success achieved by the SNP in East Aberdeenshire, Banff & Buchan and now Banffshire & Buchan Coast can be traced right back to the commitment, hard work and dedication of people like Alex Farquhar, Bob Ritchie and Bruce Cockie, and I’m delighted Alex has been able to join us here tonight.

“Secondly, the trust that the electorate has placed in the SNP and continues to give us as we seek to move Scotland forward is humbling indeed. It is a great honour and privilege to be elected to represent this constituency with its consistent strong support for the SNP over four decades now.

“Thirdly, the election results on 5th May represent the writing of a new chapter of Scotland’s history. The SNP achieved its best-ever result across Scotland thanks to the positive message we placed before the people. Locally, we achieved our highest-ever share of the vote, at over 67 per cent, while our Conservative opponents recorded their lowest.

“The SNP will continue to lead a positive debate on Scotland’s future to win support for Scotland having the full range of powers to grow our economy, create jobs and to work on equal terms with our friends and neighbours.”

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