The Labour Party in the Western Isles has selected 30 year-old Shaun Fraser as its candidate for the forthcoming Holyrood elections, hailing him as “a breath of fresh air” in island politics.
Shaun is a professional artist, based in Inverness, with a background in housing policy and homelessness prevention in the Highlands and Islands, working for the charity, New Start Highland.
Shaun was educated at Culloden Academy, Edinburgh College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.
His relationship with the islands was strengthened when he was appointed artist-in-residence to An Suileachan in Lewis. His work, based on the use of natural materials, has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at An Lanntair in Stornoway.
A member of the Labour Party since 2014, Shaun said: “I campaigned with Rhoda Grant in the Western Isles at the last Holyrood elections and am now privileged to be in the front line myself.
“I am immensely proud to be from the Highlands and Islands. The main quality I would bring to being a Labour MSP is compassion through lived experience and a determination to affect change.
“The Labour Party has a fine record in the Western Isles and there has been nothing to compare with it in recent years. Our islands require creative policies to protect the local economy and a political voice that will challenge government – whoever is in power – and put island interests first".
Shaun said that all the focus over the next Parliament should be on recovery from the pandemic rather than arguing about referendums or the constitution. “Let’s work together rather than deepening divisions,” he added.
Western Isles Labour’s constituency chair, Alison MacCorquodale, said: "We are delighted to have a young and talented candidate, full of ideas and commitment to social justice. Shaun will be a breath of fresh air in island politics”.