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South Lanarkshire councillor Katy Loudon to challenge MSP John Mason for seat nomination

John Mason MSP - Image credit: Scottish Parliament

South Lanarkshire councillor Katy Loudon to challenge MSP John Mason for seat nomination

SNP councillor Katy Loudon is set to challenge incumbent MSP John Mason for the Glasgow Shettleston seat nomination.

Loudon was elected to South Lanarkshire Council in 2017 and chairs the Education Resource Committee. Before this she was a teacher and library research.

Announcing her intention on social media, she said: “Having taught across the city, and from being a councillor, I know only too well the challenges that people can face.

“I firmly believe independence is the only way to properly tackle inequality and build the country we want to see – one based on equity and fairness.”

As the seat is held by SNP MSP John Mason, the bid goes against normal party protocol to not challenge a sitting politician.

However, it is not the first such announcement for the 2021 election, with Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny seeking to replace incumbent Stuart McMillan in Greenock and Inverclyde.

Mason has held the seat in since 2011 after defeating Labour’s Frank McAveety. He was briefly an MP for Glasgow East following a by-election victory in 2008, though in the 2010 election he lost the seat to Labour’s Margaret Curran.

He has been criticised for his stance on abortion and same sex marriage, being one of 18 MSPs who voted against the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act in 2014.

More recently he faced a backlash after announcing his constituency office would be open five days at week at the start of lockdown.

It prompted Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to tweet in reply: “John please don't do this. Follow the clear health guidance - you are neither an exception nor exceptional.”

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - New five-tier coronavirus strategy unveiled by Scottish Government

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