SIC says no thanks to ‘NO THANX’ campaigner
As Orkney and Shetland heads to the polls, a former election candidate campaigning for voters to spoil their ballot papers has slammed Shetland Islands Council for removing his signage from public view.
Stuart Hill (also known as Stuart of Forvick), is a long-time campaigner for independence in Orkney and Shetland — disputing the jurisdiction of Scotland and the UK over the Northern Isles. He stood as an independent candidate in the 2017 General Election, receiving 245 votes — despite making previous comments to The Orcadian that the election was “illegal”.
But SIC has said that placards erected in Shetland by Mr Hill were “unauthorised”, in that he had not sought prior approval before erecting them.
In a press release issued on behalf of the “Sovereign Nation of Shetland”, Mr Hill claimed that the SIC roads department had carried out its “threat” to remove his election signs — which he believes it had no authority to do.
He said: “Apparently the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing and neither has the authority to do anything. This is just a strong arm tactic from those who want our message suppressed.
“It has long been customary to put up signs on lamp posts at election time and when I was a candidate, no permission was asked and no objections were made. As for not being a candidate – that is nonsense.
“I have a message just as valid as any candidate for those wanting to make a legitimate protest vote about the £152 million Shetland and Orkney pay to the UK every year for nothing in return. Rather than vote in an MP, who can do nothing about it, people should write NO THANX across the ballot paper to keep the power here. All spoiled papers are counted.
“The SIC did not have the authority to take down my signs. I will be charging them for doing so. Supporters have rallied round and new ones will be printed and re-erected today. We will not be bullied by those who do not like our message.”
Responding to Mr Hill’s comments, a spokeswoman from SIC said:”The road service of the council is in communication with Mr Hill over the matter of unauthorised placards, but we will not publicly comment at this point.”
- There are six candidates running for the Orkney and Shetland constituency — David Barnard (Independent), Alistair Carmichael (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Coilla Drake (Scottish Labour Party), Jenny Fairbairn (Scottish Conservative Party), Robert Leslie (SNP) and Robert Smith (The Brexit Party).
- Polling stations will be open until 10pm, this evening, Thursday.
- The count will be held at Kirkwall Grammar School, with the first set of ballots due to be counted shortly after 10pm and a result anticipated between 5am and 6am on Friday.
- The address of your polling station will be listed on your polling card, which should have been sent out to you by post in recent weeks. You do not need to bring your polling card with you to vote.