DESPITE facing what they described as an “eye-watering” bill in excess of £180,000, the Orkney Four remain remarkably upbeat as they prepare for another day in court next month, at which the award of expenses will be decided in the action against Alistair Carmichael – their self-confessed liar of an MP.

When they took their case to a special sitting of an Election Court, the petitioners were undaunted by the glare of the media spotlight. And so they remained after “winning a defeat”, when judges ruled that Carmichael had told a “blatant lie” about that infamous memo – although they said an “illegal practice” by the MP had not been proved “beyond reasonable doubt”.

Donations have come from all over the country – indeed the world – for the petitioners’ legal costs, along with hundreds of messages of support. All along we have shown our support for the Orkney Four, and we have no hesitation in stating it again now, perhaps when they most need it.

What four ordinary people – incensed that their MP lied so blatantly – have managed to do is to show the rest of us that politicians can be held to account and are answerable for their actions.

In so doing they took a grave financial risk and gambled that most people similarly felt their political representatives should be models of probity.

Thus far their gamble has paid off and we hope it continues to pay dividends, not least for the food banks which Carmichael’s lies have deprived of tens of thousands of pounds that are now destined for the pockets of the legal teams involved in the case.

However, the petitioners and not the lawyers are the winners in this case, and they should not have to suffer financially for pursuing the course they have.

Andrew Tickell: Anxious wait but all may not be lost

Orkney Four: Alistair Carmichael is going for our souls in Frenchgate court costs battle