Campervan trip is no jolly, says MP as he sets off on tour of duty
A NEWLY elected MP who has decided to visit nine Scottish islands in a rented campervan said he chose to do so not knowing it might ‘frustrate’ people.
Brendan O’Hara, elected in May to serve Argyll and Bute at Westminster, set out in the large campervan on Tuesday morning to ‘fulfil a promise’ he had made to islanders that he would visit as many islands as possible as soon as he could.
Visiting Bute, Coll, Tiree, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Mull, Iona and Gigha, Brendan said it will be an interesting trip.
Brendan said: ‘I’m in no doubt that this is the most beautiful constituency in these islands and representing the people who live and work here is a huge privilege.
‘I was determined to use this time to get around as much of the place as I can to meet folk, hear their concerns and ideas and help them with the issues they face.
‘Being an MP means putting your constituency first and this is one of the many opportunities I’ll take to do just that.
‘I am looking forward to the next two weeks immensely.’
However, the parliamentary novice was taken aback when he heard that some of his constituents viewed his road and ferry trip as a ‘ bit of a jolly’, He replied: ‘It is not a jolly at all. It means I am on my own for 14 days travelling around the islands.
‘When I get back to Helensburgh, I almost immediately need to go back to London.
‘It is certainly not a holiday. I will be visiting villages and towns and knocking on doors.
‘I see it more as accommodation and an office that allows me to see people where they live - rather than them travel- ling to see me.’ When asked how people should contact him when he is on tour, he provided this answer: ‘If it is daylight hours and people see the van, then I would be delighted if they would knock and say hello.’
Brendan said he will be eating in hotels and restaurants as he is not that keen on lighting a gas burner in the van. He continued: ‘I will be buying everything I can on the islands.
‘I will arrive with a box of tea bags and two pints of UHT milk.’
‘If it doesn’t work and people are annoyed with the van, then I won’t do it again. But we will try it and see what happens.’
VAN MAN: Brendan O’Hara is visiting the Islands in his campervan