Sarah Masson is the SNP candidate for Edinburgh Western

Can you explain your motivation for wanting to become an MSP?

It was never my plan but I gradually became more and more involved in politics and was encouraged to stand by colleagues, constituents and friends who thought I could make a positive impact.

For me, it’s about contributing to the creation of a society that looks after everyone who chooses to make it their home. A society where everyone has an equal chance to succeed and flourish. And a society that looks to the future and the opportunities we can have as an independent European country.

What got you into politics?

Theatre. My entire view about politics shifted when I read the legendary Scottish play The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil. It taught me so much about Scotland’s history – and it did it in a entertaining way. Theatre was my “way in” to understanding politics from a social side. It connected me to the human impact of the decisions being made by politicians. And, it was from there that I become passionate about influencing politics for the benefit of everyone in our country.

What’s your career experience beyond politics?

I’ve studied and worked in theatre for my entire life. I am drawn to it because of the way it can speak to people and comment on the world around us, past, present and future.

My first gig was being part of the incredible team who produced Two Minute Manifesto. Since then, I have directed and produced shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Royal Lyceum Theatre and the Traverse Theatre. I love theatre because it asks the tough questions we need to be asking and I will never stop doing that, be it in the Holyrood Chamber or on a stage.

Why should the people of your constituency vote for you in May?

I want to be the most effective representative for them in our parliament. I will make sure the issues that are important to them are at the forefront of everything I do. Rather than grandstanding, I want to take politics back to what it should be about – representing the people and communities across Edinburgh Western in a way that benefits them.

If you’re elected, what do you hope to achieve?

I hope I can be the strongest possible advocate for Edinburgh Western’s overwhelming vote to remain in the EU. Just now, our close relationship with the EU is more important than ever. Covid-19 has been a global pandemic and has required a global response. Our recovery could be long-lasting, but it depends on collaboration with other countries.

With the powers of independence, what’s the one thing about Scotland you would change?

I would scrap the two-child limit the UK Government has put on child tax credits. It’s the hallmark of a government who does not understand the lives of different types of people and families. The only reason we are not seeing the full effects of this policy here is because the Scottish Government has mitigated it.

Tell us something unusual about yourself?

I co-founded and produced Scotland’s first LGBT playwright festival. It has run for two years during LGBT History Month at the Traverse Theatre and has been an incredible success.