Charles is the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, and comes to the constituency with a long track record of activism across the Lothians and central Scotland.
Outwith politics Charles is the chief executive of a Scottish conservation charity, working in the world of woodland and forestry for more than eight years. He is also the chair of Scotland’s national environmental network, and a large society lottery grant-giving trust.
Originally from West Lothian, Charles is a history graduate from the University of Glasgow; and has worked as an accountant in banking; a researcher in the Scottish Parliament; an office manager; and as a consultant for a commercial public affairs firm. Between 2007 and 2012 he was an elected councillor on the City of Edinburgh Council for the City Centre ward whilst also being the Campaigns Officer for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Charles chairs the Scottish Green Liberal Democrats group which works to ensure that all Scottish Lib Dem policy contains a “green thread” of environmental concern.
“Climate change and the future of our planet are issues which should go beyond party politics. But we don’t just face a climate crisis. There is also a biodiversity emergency as we continue to see a global decline in the variety of habitats and species on earth. Here in Scotland 1 in 10 species face extinction unless we do something to help nature.
“These twin crises need the same actions - we need to improve the soils, plants and trees that lock up carbon and are homes to the wildlife that makes up our ecosystems.
“As Scottish Liberal Democrats, we are contesting this election on a platform to ‘Put Recovery First’. That recovery is not just about the social and economic challenges we face in the wake of the pandemic. Since there’s no community, and no jobs on a dead planet, we cannot continue to put off grasping the thistle of saving our environment from the declining state that it’s currently in.”