THE Scottish Greens have selected a candidate for a new Moray seat ahead of an anticipated General Election next year.

Councillor Draeyke van der Horn will attempt to clinch the Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey seat for the party.

The Forres representative was elected last year and was the first Scottish Green to take a spot on Moray Council.

Van der Horn has worked to develop alternative farming networks and food production in the area as well as building a food and event business as a chef.

He said he hopes to use the position to pursue social, economic and climate justice.

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Van der Horn said: “I have a commitment that I serve, a world that celebrates nature, celebrates life. Where all voices are valued, and no one and no thing is left out.

“That is why, on this day I am standing as the Scottish Green Party candidate in Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey seat in the upcoming Westminster elections.”

The UK General Election will be held by January 2025 at the latest, but many have suggested it could come as early as next spring.

The seat was one of the more contentious to come out of the Westminster boundary changes as Moray – currently represented by Tory MP Douglas Ross – was split into two parts, with Aberdeenshire North and Moray East being taken into the other seat.

It means places like Elgin have been lumped in with Highland communities like Nairn, Grantown-on-Spey and Aviemore.

Meanwhile, residents in Keith will end up voting for the same MP as voters in the Aberdeenshire communities of Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

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Moray councillors told The National the move would “dilute the identity” of the region while those elected will have a battle on their hands trying to represent such a diverse constituency.

SNP Elgin councillor Jeremie Fernandes has branded Greens' decision to run for the seat as "incomprehensible" on Twitter/X insisting it will only help the Tories.  

Scottish Greens Moray branch co-convenor, Allan Gray, said: “The time for leadership on climate and nature in Westminster is long overdue.

“We have seen both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party roll back on climate ambitions over the last year and more than ever the people of Moray, Nairn and Strathspey deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate that speaks up for climate justice, leadership on stewarding nature and a genuine pursuit of social justice.

"The Scottish Greens have already demonstrated record funding for climate and biodiversity in government in Holyrood and the need for more green voices in Westminster couldn’t be more urgent.”