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Rutherglen and Hamilton West: By-election to replace shamed MP | Politics News


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Voters are going to the polls today to replace shamed MP Margaret Ferrier.

Ms Ferrier was ousted from her Rutherglen and Hamilton West seat in August following a successful recall petition for breaching COVID restrictions during lockdown in 2020.

Fourteen candidates are on the ballot for the hotly contested seat.

SNP leader Humza Yousaf joins SNP candidate Katy Loudon (centre) and suporters, in Rutherglen during campaigning ahead of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election. Picture date: Saturday September 30, 2023.
SNP leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf with candidate Katy Loudon

Ms Ferrier, who won the seat for the SNP in 2019, was forced to sit as an independent after losing the party whip when her COVID breach came to light.

The SNP’s majority in 2019 was 5,230, with the party winning 44% of the vote and Scottish Labour in second place on 35%.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Labour candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West Michael Shanks unveil a billboard on their party's plan to make work pay in Cambuslang. Picture date: Friday September 22, 2023.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar with candidate Michael Shanks

The SNP are fielding South Lanarkshire councillor Katy Loudon, while Scottish Labour are championing teacher Michael Shanks.

The Scottish Conservatives are backing Glasgow councillor Thomas Kerr, student Cameron Eadie is standing for the Scottish Greens, and data analyst Gloria Adebo is running for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm. The count will then begin at South Lanarkshire Council headquarters in Hamilton, with the result expected in the early hours of Friday morning.

Who is standing?

• Gloria Adebo (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
• Bill Bonnar (Scottish Socialist Party)
• Garry Cooke
• Andrew Daly (Independent)
• Cameron Eadie (Scottish Green Party)
• Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India
• Niall Fraser (Scottish Family Party)
• Ewan Hoyle (Volt UK)
• Thomas Kerr (Scottish Conservatives)
• Katy Loudon (SNP)
• Christopher Sermanni (Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
• Michael Shanks (Scottish Labour Party)
• David Stark (Reform UK)
• Colette Walker (Independence for Scotland Party)

Margaret Ferrier MP. Pic: UK Parliament
Former MP Margaret Ferrier. Pic: UK Parliament

Why is the by-election taking place?

Margaret Ferrier lost her seat at Westminster for breaching COVID rules.

Ms Ferrier developed COVID symptoms on Saturday 26 September 2020, and after taking a test still went to church and had lunch with a family member the following day.

The rules at the time stated Ms Ferrier should have been isolating until she received her test result.

On the Monday, still awaiting the result of the test, she travelled by train from Glasgow to London, took part in a Commons debate and ate in the members’ tearoom in parliament.

That evening she received a text telling her the test was positive, but instead of isolating she travelled back to Scotland by train the following morning.

In 2021 she was charged by police and later ordered to undertake 270 hours of unpaid work after admitting culpably and recklessly exposing the public “to the risk of infection, illness and death” as a result of her behaviour.

She was subsequently suspended from the Commons for 30 days, which triggered the recall petition.

Out of the 81,123 electorate, 11,896 (14.66%) people signed the petition – which was more than the 10% needed to oust Ms Ferrier from the seat.

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Written by: radioroxi

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