Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross is giving money from his first Holyrood pay cheque to a charity in memory of a Moray teenager.
Keiran’s Legacy will be given around £800 from the MSP’s salary, we can reveal, following a pre-election pledge by Mr Ross not to take another income on top of his MP’s pay.
Keen mountain-biker Keiran McKandie, 16, was cycling from his family home near Elgin in March 2016 when he was struck by a car and later died.
His family began a campaign for better co-ordination between emergency services after it emerged the nearest ambulance was 38 miles away.
Keiran’s Mum, Sandra McKandie, thanked Mr Ross for the donation and said: “This is particularly welcome as we continue to deal with the effects of the pandemic, having not been able to hold fundraising events.
“It is important to remind people that the charity is very much still active and has still been helping to save people’s lives. It is a fantastic gesture and one that is hugely appreciated by us.”
Keiran’s Legacy has helped provide 93 automated external defibrillators, mostly in public places. The campaign also helps adults and children to improve their health and well-being.
Mr Ross was elected to the Scottish Parliament on May 6 to represent the Highlands and Islands region, which covers Moray.
“What his family have done in his name is truly inspirational.”
– Douglas Ross
He already represents Moray as an MP at Westminster, so his pay at Holyrood is reduced from the ordinary £64,470 to £21,490. The first pay cheque of the new job is lower than normal because of the timing of the election.
Last month, Mr Ross said he would not take the cash from his second job at Holyrood and was exploring the idea of a charitable trust.
Mr Ross said: “I am pleased to be donating the first month of my MSP’s salary to such a wonderful charity. Keiran’s death was an absolute tragedy but what his family have done in his name is truly inspirational and has helped to save lives.
“Their tireless efforts are ensuring that people know what to do in life threatening situations and has placed vital defibrillators across our communities. That is a legacy to be very proud of and I know their excellent work will only continue to grow.
“I know that this donation will be put to good use to educate more people in the use of CPR and enable more lives to be saved. I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone involved with Keiran’s Legacy and I am pleased to be able to be in this position to give a financial donation to support their work.
“I said if elected as an MSP that I would donate my salary while I also continue as an MP and this is the first local charity that will benefit from the promise I made.”