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by Louise Wilson
01 August 2023
Margaret Ferrier ousted as Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP

Margaret Ferrier has been sitting as an independent MP

Margaret Ferrier ousted as Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP

Margaret Ferrier has been removed as the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, following a successful recall petition. 

A by-election will be held in the constituency in the autumn. 

A total of 11,896 people signed the petition to remove Ferrier from office, which is 14.66 per cent of the electorate. 

The threshold for success was 10 per cent (8,113 voters). 

The SNP, Ferrier’s former party, is expected to move the writ to allow the contest to go ahead when Westminster returns from summer recess.

Ferrier has confirmed she will not stand in the by-election as an Independent candidate, saying: "This has been a difficult and taxing process that how now come to its conclusion and I do not wish to prolong it further." 

The SNP and Labour have already selected their candidates – local councillor Katy Loudon and teacher Michael Shanks – for the by-election. 

It will be the first electoral test for First Minister Humza Yousaf, whose party has been under pressure in recent months due to internal party problems. 

Following the announcement of the recall count, Yousaf said: "At every stage of this campaign, the SNP will promote the interests and needs of all the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West. By contrast, Labour in Scotland is a mere branch office, doing the bidding of their bosses at Westminster.

"Katy Loudon is the strong voice of progress for the constituents of Rutherglen and Hamilton West."

Labour is heavily targeting the seat, which it represented until the 2015 general election and again between 2017 and 2019. 

Deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: "The people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West have made their voices heard and demanded change. "For far too long the area has been failed – let down by two incompetent governments and left voiceless in parliament by their rule-breaking MP."

Margaret Ferrier lost the SNP whip in autumn 2020 after breaching Covid lockdown rules by travelling on a train between London and Glasgow after having tested positive for the virus.

She repeatedly refused to stand down, despite calls from both former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Yousaf to do so.

The Scottish Conservatives are also fielding a candidate, Glasgow councillor Thomas Kerr.

Deputy leader Meghan Gallacher said: "I am looking forward to campaigning with our superb candidate, Thomas Kerr, and speaking to voters in this constituency about their real priorities.

"The SNP are engulfed in chaos and continue to relentlessly pursue independence, rather than tackling issues that really matter, while Anas Sarwar’s Scottish Labour party are too weak to stand up to them on an overwhelming number of issues."

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