HELENSBURGH resident Maurice Corry has been chosen as the Scottish Conservatives' candidate for the Dumbarton constituency at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

Mr Corry has been a list MSP for the party in the West Scotland region since 2016, and was previously a councillor for the Lomond North ward on Argyll and Bute Council.

Mr Corry joins defending Labour MSP Jackie Baillie and SNP candidate Toni Giugliano on the ballot paper for next May's Holyrood poll.

Prior to entering politics, he served for 38 years in the regular Army and Territorial Army and commanded the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Territorial Army Unit in Argyll and Bute and Dunbartonshire.

During his time in the armed forces, he also served with the Black Watch with NATO in the Balkans and supported NATO forces in Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Toni Giugliano selected to fight Dumbarton seat for SNP at Holyrood poll

He was also the Conservatives' candidate for Dumbarton in 2016, but was beaten into third place behind Labour and the SNP.

Ms Baillie, who has been the constituency's MSP since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, retained the seat in 2016 with a slim majority of just 109 votes ahead of SNP candidate Gail Robertson.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been selected again to stand for the Scottish Conservatives in this seat.

"This is the constituency I am proud to call home and have been delighted to represent as an MSP since 2016 and I believe I have always put the needs of local people, businesses and communities first over this term of Parliament.

"As we rebuild from the Covid pandemic, we must ensure that we do everything we can to protect vital local jobs and livelihoods and ensure there are opportunities for people to make this constituency their home.

READ MORE: Labour members reselect Jackie Baillie for Scottish Parliament election as MSP aims for sixth term

"While campaigning will undoubtedly be different, I'm looking forward to engaging with as many voters as possible and finding out about the issues that matter to them."

Mr Corry finished third in 2016 with 4,891 votes - 14.6 per cent of the total, and a 2.7 per cent increase on the party's share at the previous Scottish Parliament election in 2011.

The constituency, which stretches from Bowling in the south-east to Inverarnan and the Rest and Be Thankful in the north and west and covers the whole of Helensburgh and Lomond, is widely seen as one of the SNP's top target seats at next year's election.

Mr Corry continued: "The Scottish Conservatives, led by Douglas Ross, have a positive vision to rebuild our communities and put them at the heart of the decision-making process.

"Next year’s election is a chance to move on from the divisions of the past, which the SNP want to take us back to with yet another divisive independence referendum.

READ MORE: Jackie Baillie retains Dumbarton seat with wafer-thin majority (from 2016)

"A vote for me will be a vote to respect that referendum result and for a hardworking local MSP who will put the interests of this community first."

Next year's election is due to be held on Thursday, May 6.

The Scottish Government published new legislation last month to provide powers, if needed, to conduct the election differently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposed measures include an earlier deadline for postal vote applications and power for polling to take place over more than one day, if required, to support physical distancing at polling stations.

The Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Bill, if passed, would also give MSPs powers to pass emergency legislation to delay the election if required.

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