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