From Balwearie High school to an election campaign

Lib Dem candidate Callum Leslie
Lib Dem candidate Callum Leslie

Politics runs in the blood of Callum Leslie.

The Liberal Democrat candidiate for the General Election has been interested from a young age.

I’ve never seen myself as a career politician, although that is something I could have easily done

Callum Leslie

Having joined the party as a youngster, his involvement with the Lib Dems was clearly mapped out from the beginning.

Born and brought up in Kirkcaldy, Callum (23), who studied history at Edinburgh University upon leaving Balwearie High School, stood in the recent Kirkcaldy east by-election.

He cites former party leaders Sir Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy as two politicians he looked up to in his first foray into politics, working with his mum, Councillor Susan Leslie.

“I helped with her campaign when I was just 14 and saw these great men speak at meetings and I have to say I was inspired by them.

‘‘The topic of politics and public affairs, both local and national, was always discussed at home, so I was raised on it.

“I’ve been involved in some way with elections in the past, not only as a candidate but as a campaign manager.

“I feel it has given me a great amount of experience.”

And it was this background which put him in a prime position to stand in the election.

He said: “I put myself forward as the Lib Dem candidate mainly because it is something I always wanted to do. I think it is important to have a local person represent the area they are from. I was raised here, so I know the people as well as the place.”

“I’ve never seen myself as a career politician, although that is something I could have easily done,” Callum continued.

“But I do have a life separate from politics and I’m happy standing in elections and to have the opportunity to represent local people.”

Being the youngest candidate is not something Callum views as a problem – in fact, he believes it could help his campaign.

“One of the issues I am interested in, and that is important to me, is unemployment in Kirkcaldy and beyond,” he continued.

“Being young and not long out of university myself, I know how hard it is to find a job in the current climate – it definitely isn’t easy, it is a struggle and it is something I can easily relate to.”

Callum will make sure his voice is heard and, in particular, will shout out clearly about working to ease the tax burden faced by many people.

“Those on a low income do struggle to make ends meet,” he said. “The tax rate doesn’t help matters and it is something that does need to change for people in Fife and further afield.”

Another local issue close to Callum’s heart is the proposed children’s care home at Raith Gates in Kirkcaldy.

“I fully support turning Raith Gates into a home for looked after children.

“It is a great location and would make an ideal home for them.

“I understand there are some people within the community that disagree, but anything that aims to help young people can only be a good thing.”