Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The secret behind Alex Cole-Hamilton's appearance on the BBC News Channel

After the Scotland on Sunday economy debate yesterday, I called in at the nerve centre of the Liberal Democrat campaign on my way home.

I arrived just in time to see our candidate for Edinburgh Central Alex Cole-Hamilton appear on the BBC News Channel. I think the people in the studio wanted him to talk about something else, but he told them about his own vibrant campaign in Edinburgh Central and about the Liberal Democrat achievements in the UK Coalition. I know that the ending of child detention for immigration purposes is particularly close to his heart as he works for a children's charity and I was really chuffed to see it was the first thing he mentioned.

He also talked about how the coalition were taking 90,000 Scots out of income tax from April, and giving a tax cut to many other low and middle income households and talked about how upbeat the party was when we met at Conference in Perth three weeks ago.

I though he did a great job - but there was a little secret about his appearance. He had popped into party HQ earlier and been asked to go on the tv. Only problem was he was casually dressed. No problem.He borrowed a shirt and tie from the party's chief exec and a jacket from another member of staff.

I've known Alex for a long time and I've seen how he's gone from his first job out of university to relishing in parenthood to his young son. He would bring a real understanding of the issues affecting children and young people to the Parliament - something we really, really need. As a former student sabbatical, he is passionate about the issues affecting students and barriers in education.

He's put together a young, cool and awesome campaign team. I've been in there the last two Sundays (although only briefly yesterday) and the atmosphere is fantastic. There are lots of people working very hard to help Alex win in five weeks' time, building on the work he's done since July. He's knocked on well over 11,000 doors since then and has had a terrific reception. He'd be a fabulous MSP and someone I really want to see in the next Parliament.

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