A FORMER Labour voter has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Renfrewshire North and West in next year’s Scottish Parliament election.
Julie Pirone, who stood in Paisley and Renfrewshire North in last year’s general election, said she was “delighted” to receive the nomination.
She told The Gazette: “While campaigning will undoubtedly be different as a result of Covid, I’m looking forward to engaging with voters and hearing their concerns.
“We are not only facing a health crisis but an economic one too and we need to stand up for jobs and livelihoods across Renfrewshire, no matter where you live.”
Mrs Pirone is a former journalist with 27 years of experience working in communications and public relations for companies such as Royal Mail and BT.
A former Renfrew High pupil, she has also lived in Paisley and Bridge of Weir and has business experience running a café bar and pizzeria with her husband Antonio.
The mum-of-three has said she is passionate about all things Renfrewshire and her election campaign will focus on issues such as the NHS and education.
She added: “All too often, we hear SNP ministers talk of another divisive independence referendum, rather than the issues that really matter.
“I want to focus on standing up for local services, including our NHS and schools, and challenge the SNP-run Renfrewshire Council to improve the state of our roads.”
The current MSP for Renfrewshire North and West is Derek Mackay, who now serves as an Independent after he was suspended by the SNP over “inappropriate” text messages he sent to a schoolboy.
The SNP candidate is still to be announced after two hopefuls –Michelle Campbell and Natalie Don – gained the same number of votes from party members.
A second ballot is being held, with the result expected by the end of this month.