Scot­tish Labour needs a lead­er­ship who will in­stil con­fi­dence in the party

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - Holy­rood head­lines

As we be­gin the long school hol­i­day, chil­dren across the con­stituency are look­ing for­ward to re­lax­ing and un­wind­ing this sum­mer af­ter a busy last few weeks.

Many sat dif­fi­cult ex­ams, as well as fit­ting in shows, con­certs and award cer­e­monies.

This week is the first of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment re­cess pe­riod but for me it is less about time off, and more about spend­ing time here in the con­stituency, away from Holy­rood.

I’ve al­ready been en­joy­ing my sum­mer cal­en­dar; re­cent week­ends have filled my di­ary with a string of gala days, pa­rades and cel­e­bra­tions. See­ing the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether and en­joy­ing the (mostly) sunny weather is fan­tas­tic.

Sum­mer also brings with it my rov­ing surg­eries which al­low me to get out to as much of the con­stituency as pos­si­ble, be­yond my stan­dard sched­ule over the rest of the year.

As well as tour­ing neigh­bour­hoods pick­ing up case­work, I am hold­ing stalls in public places, like I did in the Ruther­glen Ar­cade on Fri­day.

Also in the Ruther­glen Ar­cade is the new Pea­cocks clothes shop, which I cut the rib­bon for. As town cen­tres across the coun­try face tough times, this new out­let is another en­cour­ag­ing sign of how lively our lo­cal main street is. Scot­tish Labour lead­er­ship race

En­thu­si­asm in pol­i­tics is cru­cial, and in the Scot­tish Labour lead­er­ship race there is plenty of just that.

The Re­former has al­ready pub­lished my sup­port for Kezia Dug­dale to be leader in Scot­land. I’ve served along­side her in shadow cab­i­net, as well as un­der her deputy lead­er­ship for the last six months, and I firmly be­lieve she is the best per­son to take Scot­tish Labour for­ward.

She is some­one pas­sion­ate about chang­ing Scot­land; inspired and full of great ideas.

She’s al­ready suc­ceeded at tak­ing on Ni­cola Stur­geon at FMQs, by high­light­ing the hypocrisy of the SNP on is­sues like the liv­ing wage, fight­ing for a bet­ter NHS, and hold­ing the gov­ern­ment to ac­count on their failed ed­u­ca­tion record.

I have also de­cided to back Richard Baker, an MSP for the north east of Scot­land, to be our next deputy leader. He brings with him a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to unite our party as we look ahead to next year’s Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions.

For me, Scot­tish Labour needs a lead­er­ship who will in­stil con­fi­dence in the party – and who will of­fer change for Scot­land.

I am con­vinced Kez and Richard will do just that: they are de­ter­mined to lis­ten and act.

Peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are fed up of hear­ing about our out-of-hours ser­vices be­ing threat­ened be­cause the NHS is un­der­funded by the SNP; they’re tired of read­ing in their Re­former that lo­cal col­lege stu­dents are hav­ing to start pe­ti­tions to keep their course go­ing; and they want a bet­ter­funded coun­cil who don’t have to con­tin­u­ally look at cut­ting ser­vices be­cause they aren’t get­ting enough cash from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

Un­der Kez and Richard’s lead­er­ship, Labour will fight for com­mu­ni­ties like Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, right across Scot­land.

Box­ing clever James Kelly MSP is put through his paces by Archie Durie at the Durie’s Box­ing Club stall at Cam­bus­lang Sum­mer­fest

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