Conservatives choose 2021 candidate

Scottish Conservatives candidate Mark Findlater
Scottish Conservatives candidate Mark Findlater

A local councillor and former soldier will contest the Banffshire and Buchan Coast seat in the 2021 Holyrood election for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.

Mark Findlater, who represents the Troup ward in Aberdeenshire Council, won the backing of party members at a hustings in Mintlaw.

The 49-year-old was first elected as an independent councillor in Aberdeenshire in 2012 but joined Ruth Davidson’s party to campaign for Peter Chapman during the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

He was subsequently re-elected as a Scottish Conservative and Unionist councillor in 2017.

Mr Findlater lives in Macduff and attended Banff Academy and Portsoy Primary.

He joined the British Army after leaving school at 17 and served eight operational tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.

His military career including work in military intelligence and bomb disposal. In addition to the operational tours, he also served in Germany, France, Cyprus and Canada.

Mr Findlater left the forces after 23 years with the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Royal Signals.

Speaking after his adoption for the 2021 election was announced, Mr Findlater said: “I am honoured to have been adopted as the Scottish Conservative candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast.

“I live in the constituency and have represented the Troup ward for the last seven years, so I think I have a good understanding of what matters to people in this area.

“I relish the prospect of making my case to the people across this constituency that I should be their next MSP.

“The north-east has been short-changed by the SNP government in Edinburgh for far too long.

“Aberdeenshire and Moray councils are among the lowest funded in Scotland, and it is high time we got a fairer share.

“We desperately need to train more doctors and teachers to fill gaps in provision locally.

“We should also be investing more money into our local GP services. Banffshire and Buchan Coast has been particularly badly affected by the shortage of family doctors and that needs to change.”