THE SNP offers East Lothian a uniquely positive and pioneering vision: a strong recovery based on fairness and climate justice, with the promise to amplify East Lothian’s call for all decisions affecting Scotland to be made in Scotland. In my campaign to be your MSP, I’ve set out my aims, asking you to support Nicola Sturgeon for First Minister and myself as your MSP. As we look to the future, we must have the right to decide the kind of country Scotland should be.

In its manifesto, the SNP is setting out a serious programme for serious times. I want to focus here on four key areas as we recover from Covid.

HEALTH: If you re-elect the SNP, we will lead a full-scale post-pandemic re-mobilisation of the NHS, where investment is already at record levels. The SNP will increase still further frontline NHS spending by at least 20 per cent. This will deliver an additional £2.5 billion for frontline health services, including new services at East Lothian Community Hospital.

An SNP government will also increase investment in mental health services, with a particular focus on child and adolescent services – an even greater priority given the impact of Covid on so many.

SOCIAL CARE: In the next term of parliament, the SNP will establish a National Care Service, a major change requiring major investment.

That is why we will also increase public investment in social care by 25 per cent over the course of the parliament, delivering more than £800 million of additional support. This will include removing charges for non-residential care.

THE ECONOMY: Overall, the economy is our priority. The SNP manifesto presents a range of policies to help businesses and drive a green recovery. Businesses in the retail, leisure, hospitality and aviation sectors will benefit from 100 per cent rates relief for the whole of this financial year.

We will invest an additional £500 million to support new, green jobs and re-skill people for the jobs of the future and deliver 100,000 more affordable houses, providing homes for families and supporting 14,000 jobs a year. We’ll also set up a new £20 million rural entrepreneur fund and continue to fund the Small Business Bonus scheme, benefiting more than 100,000 businesses across Scotland.

EDUCATION: For young people, we’ve made progress towards closing the complex poverty-related attainment gap in education.

Over the past five years, the SNP has invested £750 million in the Scottish Attainment Challenge. We will increase that to £1 billion of funding direct to teachers to help close the deep-rooted attainment gap.

In the last parliament, we increased teacher numbers by more than 3,000. Over the next five years, we’ll fund the recruitment of an additional 3,500 teachers and classroom assistants.

It’s a question of who you trust to act for you and your family; for East Lothian; for Scotland.

Vote for me as your MSP and Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister. Scotland’s future is in your hands. It’s your choice. I’m asking for Both Votes SNP on May 6.

Paul McLennan biography: My name is Paul McLennan and I am married to Sharron and have two grown-up children, Scott and Kirsty. I’ve lived in Dunbar all my life and adore the area, with the beautiful coast on one side and the Lammermuirs on the other. I’ve been a councillor for 14 years, holding a number of roles in that time. I was council leader from 2010 to 2012 and held cabinet posts in health, environment, economic development, tourism and communities. I have been involved in most of the committees the council operates: licensing, planning, scrutiny and education. I was also a board member of NHS Lothian and chaired the audit committee which oversaw the £1bn organisation. I was a member of the Regional Advisory Board of Scottish Enterprise and chair the East Lothian Town Centre Action Group, engaging with businesses across East Lothian. I’ve been a member of the Reform Scotland ‘Commission on School Reform’ – a cross-party thinktank. I was an advisory board member of Reform Scotland, which is Scotland’s main policy thinktank. My work life started with the Bank of Scotland, where I worked for 22 years, working in branches and latterly as a financial adviser and in business and corporate banking. I worked for four years in the Scottish Parliament for a few MSPs, gaining experience in how the parliament operates, its capabilities and building relationships. For the past five years, I’ve been working in strategic communications, working and engaging with businesses across Scotland from all sectors of the economy. I am a qualified UEFA football coach and worked for nine years with Hibernian FC, and previously was the national squad manager of the SYFA 15/16 squads.