MSP Will Reconsider His Role If Tolls Not Removed

Local Liberal Democrat MSP John Farquhar-Munro has said that he will reconsider his role in the party and may serve as an Independent MSP if the promise to remove the Skye Bridge tolls by Christmas made by Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace is not fulfilled..

After Mr. Wallace's announcement, civil servants had to "clarify" the promise made last week by Mr Wallace in the Scottish Parliament as meaning that negotiations with the tolling company over what it would take to remove the tolls would be completed.

Speaking on Grampian TV's Gaelic current-affairs programme "Ceann-la", Mr Munro had said he would leave the party and stand as an Independent MSP.

Mr Munro said: "We have fought against the tolls on the Skye Bridge since the first day they were imposed. Over a year ago now, our leader Jim Wallace promised as part of the coalition deal with Labour after the election, that the tolls would be removed.

"That is a formal part of the deal and we now have the promise from Mr Wallace last week that the tolls would be abolished by the end of this year."

"I hope that the tolls will be removed and, from all I can see happening, I feel sure the tolls will be removed as promised. If that doesn't happen, I will not be staying or standing again as a member of the Lib Dems - I will become an Independent MSP for the Highlands."

"Everywhere I go, people say to me that we have promised to abolish the tolls, yet we have made no progress on the issue. This does not affect me as much as it affects the Lib Dems as a whole."

J.F., as he is known locally by his constituents, has been at the forefront of the call for the abolition of the tolls, SKAT have asked him to lead our march for Independence on 3 July. We applaud the courage of his convictions, he appears to be one of the few politicians who know that a promise is a promise, and not just a party election slogan.

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Copyright Ray Shields, 2004.

Most recent revision, 03 July 2004