Robert Leslie

Robert Leslie at Bains beech.

My aim as candidate is to ensure that the communities in our islands have the powers to prosper as part of an independent Scotland.

Robert Leslie, Orcadian family man.

I was born and brought up in Orkney, although I can trace my Leslie heritage back to Fair Isle. I’m married to Kara, and we have three daughters, Ria, Isla and Ruby, cats Ginger and Poppy, and a Border Collie called Gaia.

Education and Early Career

I went to Kirkwall Grammar School, and in my late 30s I completed a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies through The Open University. I am currently studying for practitioner membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment through Orkney Housing Association, where I’ve worked since 2010.
I had a first career as a reporter and editor at The Orcadian, Press and Journal, Orkney Today and the Orkney Farmer.
I helped found fuel poverty charity THAW Orkney almost ten years ago, and have also been a director of Orkney Renewable Energy Forum.

Political Career

I’m vice chairman of Kirkwall & St Ola Community Council, and also play side drum with Kirkwall City Pipe Band, playing twice in Lerwick Up Helly Aa when the band were guests of Guizer Jarl Roy Leask in 2008 and Neil Moncrieff more recently, in 2023. I also helped write the history of Orkney Rugby Football Club.
From mid-2012 to 18th September 2014, I made the case passionately for a Yes vote and joined the SNP in November 2014, knowing there was still a job to do.
Helping co-ordinate and communicate during the General Elections of 2015 and 2017, as well as helping campaign in these and the 2016 Holyrood election, gave me a further taste for party politics.
Working first for Highlands and Islands MSP Mike Mackenzie and then Maree Todd and Emma Roddick has demonstrated to me the time and effort required to be an effective parliamentarian, especially experiencing Maree and Emma’s requirements to balance ministerial and constituency commitments.

Robert Leslie, Candidate

When the opportunity arose to be SNP candidate for Orkney & Shetland in the December 2019 General Election I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
I feel I grew into the role during the campaign and was overwhelmed by the growth in the SNP vote in both islands. I built on that as Orkney SNP candidate for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, and again reduced the majority of the incumbent Liberal Democrat.
I firmly believe I can help make Orkney and Shetland fairer, greener and more equal places in which to live and work.
I feel that my background in journalism has given me the enquiring mind to see how issues are affecting those living and working in Orkney and Shetland. My second career in energy and fuel poverty has made me determined to seek a future where everyone in Orkney and Shetland achieves the fundamental right of living in an affordably warm and healthy home.


If elected I will strive to:

  • Eradicate poverty
  • Get Fairer energy prices
  • Get Efficient, non-polluting ferries
  • Mitigate climate change
  • Get more autonomy for the isles
  • Re-join the EU
  • Get a pension you can live on
  • Protect the NHS

My aim as candidate is to ensure that the communities in our islands have the powers to prosper as part of an independent Scotland.

How to Help

Join the SNP. Join the Orkney branch to show we are serious about rebuilding a better way of life.
Donate whatever you can afford to help secure Robert’s place in Holyrood.