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Margaret Ferrier: Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election to replace COVID rule-breaking MP set for October | UK News

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election to replace COVID rule-breaker Margaret Ferrier has been confirmed for October 5.

The SNP confirmed on Monday it had “moved the writ” required to trigger the contest, marking the official start of a campaign that has been ongoing for months.

The seat was vacated by Ms Ferrier after a successful recall petition following her conviction for breaching COVID restrictions.

Both the SNP and Labour have been vying for the seat since in recent months.

Ms Ferrier’s former party has repeatedly said it would move for a by-election as soon as possible, moving the writ on the first day the House of Commons returned after summer recess.

The party’s Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, said: “The people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve to have this by-election as soon as possible so they can vote to send a strong MP to Westminster that will truly stand up for them, and against the cruel Tory policies that Labour now support.

“The SNP have a fantastic candidate in Katy Loudon, who has a proven track record in the constituency. The SNP know exactly what we stand for and will fight for every single vote – as we always do.

“By contrast, the pro-Brexit Labour party are taking the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West for granted by arrogantly acting like they have this election in the bag.

“With Sir Keir Starmer having ruled out ever re-joining the EU, and backing Tory policies, including the cruel two-child cap and rape clause, people are asking what is the point of Labour?”

Read more:
Candidates aiming to replace Margaret Ferrier

Ms Loudon said the constituency will “never be a priority for a Labour MP”.

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Margaret Ferrier lost her seat in parliament after breaching COVID rules

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the by-election was a chance for constituents to “demand better than the same old SNP failure”.

He added: “Scottish Labour can deliver the change this community needs and Michael Shanks has hit the ground running – but we are not complacent.

“We are working tirelessly to earn voters’ trust and show that we can deliver the fresh start the area needs.

“This is not as good as it gets – change is coming, and voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West can lead the way by putting our two failing governments on notice and electing a local champion in Scottish Labour’s Michael Shanks.”

Mr Shanks said the people of the constituency “have been let down and left voiceless in parliament for far too long”, adding: “Our area needs a fresh start and a local champion to speak up for it, and I will be working tirelessly to earn the chance to do that.”

And Scottish Green candidate Cameron Eadie – seen as an outsider in the race for the seat – said constituents had the chance to vote for “bold and radical action that is so urgently needed”.

“We are in a climate crisis that is burning our planet and a cost of living crisis that is plunging families all over our country into poverty,” he added.

“We can’t go on like this.”

Glasgow councillor Thomas Kerr will battle it out for the Scottish Conservatives, while the Scottish Liberal Democrats will champion data analyst Gloria Adebo.

Independence for Scotland Party also plan to field leader Colette Walker in the by-election.

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