Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Craig Hoy has been out campaigning across the constituency with his campaign team.
He says his message is clear. “It’s time to end constitutional division, take IndyRef 2 off the table and start focussing on issues such as investing in public services, the economy, defence and policing,” Mr Hoy says.
Mr Hoy, who is also the councillor for Haddington and Lammermuir ward, has already conducted Saturday morning street walkabouts in North Berwick, Tranent, Haddington and Musselburgh.
Extensive canvass and leafleting operations are well underway in towns, villages and rural areas. Mr Hoy says responses on the doorsteps are very positive, with Labour voters keen to lend him their vote to beat Nicola Sturgeon’s candidate. He insists a vote for any other party is a wasted vote which will let the SNP in by the back door.
“It’s clear that East Lothian does not want Jeremy Corbyn’s extremist left-wing agenda and voters recognise Labour can simply no longer win here. The SNP only cares about a second independence referendum – which is something East Lothian firmly said ‘No’ to in 2014. Worse still, Labour has said it is open to a deal with Nicola Sturgeon which would pave the way for another divisive referendum. In contrast I am crystal clear where I stand: I will oppose a second independence referendum, no ifs, no buts.”
Mr Hoy is also campaigning on local issues, such as providing more funding from Westminster to put more police on the beat and bringing new, skilled jobs to areas including the former Cockenzie power station.
“It’s time to get our focus back on to the domestic agenda, the economy and the environment, and stop pushing for more referendums. I am the only candidate who can credibly promise this to local voters.”
Mr Hoy has also been visiting local businesses and employers, including Links Veterinary Group in Haddington and Torness Power Station, where he met with EDF management.
He added: “East Lothian is the second fastest growing area in Scotland. We urgently need investment in infrastructure and to attract new businesses and jobs if we are to maintain quality of life here.”
Mr Hoy also took time out to pull a pint to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Tyneside Tavern as an East Lothian public house.
Two weeks into the campaign, Mr Hoy says he is increasingly confident that he can stop the SNP winning the constituency.
“I’m the local candidate, whereas the SNP is parachuting their candidate in from Edinburgh,” he says. “I live in East Lothian and I’ll always stand up for East Lothian. I want to go to Westminster to be our voice in the House of Commons – not to remove our voice from it.”