ARGYLL and Bute Council’s depute leader has been confirmed as the area’s Conservative Party candidate for the 2019 General Election.

Gary Mulvaney, one of the four councillors for Helensburgh Central and the depute leader of Argyll and Bute Council, is the Tories’ local candidate for the second UK election in a row.

He joins the SNP’s Brendan O’Hara, who is aiming to win a third successive term as the area’s MP, and Alan Reid for the Liberal Democrats.

Next month’s poll will be the sixth UK election in a row in which Mr Reid has been the Lib Dems’ candidate, and the second in which he is aiming to unseat Mr O’Hara, having had his 14-year term as the area’s Westminster representative ended in the SNP landslide which swept across the country in 2015.

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Mr Reid also stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate at the last Scottish Parliament election in May 2016.

At the time of going to press, Labour had yet to announce the name of their Argyll and Bute candidate, while there had been no word on who, if anyone, might stand for any of the smaller parties.

Mr O’Hara is defending a majority of 1,328 at the December 12 poll.

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Cllr Mulvaney said: “We are here to campaign, and we are here to win.

“We were 1,300 votes short last time – this time we are going to win it but we will need every single Unionist vote to do it.

“We will be focusing on this like getting Brexit done – everybody is tired of it. They want to get it done and move on.

“We want to send a really clear message to Nicola [Sturgeon] that we do not want a second [Scottish independence] referendum.

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“And we want to concentrate on people’s priorities – schools, hospitals, crime, law and order, all things that are really important.”

Councillor Reid’s selection by the area’s Liberal Democrats was announced in April, though the date of the poll was unknown at that point, while Mr O’Hara was unanimously chosen by local SNP members in September.

The deadline for candidates to be nominated and submit their papers is Thursday, November 14.