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MSP Kate Forbes sets out her priorities after romping to victory in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

By Hector MacKenzie

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Kate Forbes has retained her seat, which takes in a large part of Ross-shire, comfortably.
Kate Forbes has retained her seat, which takes in a large part of Ross-shire, comfortably.

DINGWALL-based Kate Forbes wants to see progress in tackling the affordable housing crisis in the Highlands as well as the delivery of vital infrastructure improvements like a new hospital in Fort William after being successfully returned as constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

Over the past parliamentary term, Ms Forbes helped secure millions of pounds of investment in rural tourism infrastructure at various hotspots across her vast constituency, and also successfully fought to save Portree Hospital from closure and restore 24/7 nursing cover to the Isle of Raasay.

The 31-year-old has said she wants to see significant progress on affordable housing, along with vital infrastructure improvements – such as a new Belford Hospital and a safer Munlochy Junction – over the course of the next parliamentary term.

Kate Forbes said: “First and foremost, I am grateful to the people of this constituency for their support. I never take a single vote for granted, and I am sincerely grateful for the trust placed in me by the people of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.

“As we begin to emerge from the Covid pandemic, I am under no illusion about the challenges ahead for the economy, health and education of the Highlands, and I will continue to work tirelessly for my constituents – just as I have done over the past five years. A lot has been achieved, but there's lots more to do.

“The lack of affordable housing has been well documented, it’s a common problem in all parts of my constituency, so it is something I want to give specific focus to.

“I also want to see vital infrastructure projects moving forwards as quickly as possible. The new Belford Hospital is long overdue, as are road safety improvements at the notorious Munlochy Junction.”

Ms Forbes also paid tribute to her political opponents, adding: “In a day where political exchanges on social media often generate more heat than light, I would like to thank the three opposition candidates, John Erskine, Jamie Halcro-Johnson and Denis Rixson, for their own good natured campaigns and contributions.

“I have always taken a constructive approach to political matters in the Highlands, and my door is always open to those wanting to make our region a better place to live, work and study.”

Result for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch:

Kate Forbes, SNP, 24,192

Jamie Halcro Johnston, Conservative, 8331

Denis Rixson, Lib Dem, 6778

John Erskine, Labour, 3855

Breaking news: Kate Forbes retains her seat comfortably

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