Stonehaven and Mearns SNP annual meeting

Stonehaven and Mearns branch of the SNP held its annual general meeting at St Bridget’s Hall, Stonehaven, to elect its new officers and consider the coming political year, including the general election campaign.

Returning as convener, Iain Emslie said the branch had experienced a seven-fold increase in membership since the independence referendum in September 2014 - with one in every 50 adults in Scotland now a member of the SNP - and he very much looked forward to engaging with the new recruits and the wider community.

SNP candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Stuart Donaldson, said: “One of the key issues is who will best represent the people of Scotland, and the election is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to have power by electing a strong team of SNP MPs to a hung parliament at Westminster. With the SNP holding the balance of power in London, we will back an additional £180billion in investment across the UK over the next parliament to boost the economy and create jobs.

“The polls are incredibly encouraging for the SNP but we are taking nothing for granted. That is why, every day, I have been out with activists across the constituency. It has been great to meet and listen to voters on the doorsteps and I will continue to work hard for every vote from now until May, to ensure the people of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine get the representation they deserve.”

Other branch office-bearers elected were Lorna Bates (vice-convener), Ileene Macdonald (secretary), Alan Thompson (treasurer), Justin Borg Barthet (political education officer), Mike Duthie (membership secretary), Susan Speirs (second officer), Dan Fearon (press officer), Emily Robson (women’s officer), Leigh Wilson (youth officer), Lewis Mackenzie (social and fund-raising) and Susan Dunbar, Craig Mitchell and Glen Brown (co-organisers).