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Fergus Ewing gets hat-trick of nominations at The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2023

By Scott Maclennan

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Fergus Ewing rips up the HPMAs proposal in Holyrood.
Fergus Ewing rips up the HPMAs proposal in Holyrood.

Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing has received a trio of nominations at the prestigious The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards 2023,

Mr Ewing is up for the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year, the Community MSP of the Year and the Politics in Business award after an explosive 12 months.

He is one of three Highland MSPs nominated – the others are Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch SNP MSP Kate Forbes and Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Edward Mountain.

Mr Ewing has already been named Holyrood Magazine’s MSP of the Year and the latest trio of nods from The Herald will only strengthen his position and that of his campaigns.

That is something SNP bosses may want to take note as controversy and scandal continues to dog the party.

After leaving the Scottish Government, the veteran MSP has taken a number of causes, challenged his own party’s policies and rebelled against the whip – which saw him suspended for a week from the SNP.

In parliament, Mr Ewing voted against the Gender Recognition Bill amid fears sexual predators could take advantage of the changes by pretending to be trans to gain access to traditionally single sex areas and prey on women.

During a debate on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) tore up a copy of the policy paper in fury over how it referred to fishermen – the hugely controversial HPMAs policy was eventually junked.

In much the same way, he repeatedly tore into the Greens and Lorna Slater for the now notoriously expensive failure that was the Deposit Return Scheme – the DRS as it came to be known was also mothballed.

His nomination for the Community MSP of the Year likely stems from his tireless work as he articulately pushed the Scottish Government into a corner and demanded that it honour its commitments to dual the A9 as well as the Nairn Bypass.

And the nod for Politics in Business is perhaps related to his work defending the drinks industry from what it saw as the hugely damaging DRS proposals and perhaps also the fishing industry from HPMAs.

In the latter award, he will be up against Ms Kate Forbes whose pragmatic business approach was welcomed during her SNP leadership bid.

And Mr Mountain was nominated for Committee MSP of the year for his work on the Net Zero Committee.

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