SNP can­di­date is cho­sen for Ruther­glen seat

Row as MSP told he takes area for granted

Rutherglen Reformer - - POLITICS - Dou­glas Dickie

The SNP have se­lected their can­di­date to run in the Ruther­glen seat at next year’s Scot­tish elec­tion.

And 48-year-old Clare Haughey wasted no time in draw­ing the bat­tle lines by ac­cus­ing cur­rent MSP James Kelly of tak­ing the con­stituency for granted.

Ms Haughey is a mother-of-three who works as a men­tal health nurse for the NHS.

She beat off a chal­lenge from six other prospec­tive can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Cam­bus­lang East coun­cil­lor, Chris­tine Deanie.

A for­mer mem­ber of the Labour Party, who cam­paigned with Labour for Indy dur­ing the In­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, she de­scribes her­self as be­ing “pas­sion­ate about im­prov­ing healthcare ser­vices and re­duc­ing healthcare in­equal­i­ties.”

She says she is “an ac­tive trade union­ist,” who is a di­vi­sional con­vener in UNI­SON.

Af­ter join­ing the SNP in the af­ter­math of the ref­er­en­dum, Ms Haughey acted as a team leader dur­ing the gen­eral elec­tion cam­paign and is cur­rently so­cial con­venor on the party’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

Ms Haughey, who says she used to ar­gue with her own mother in favour of in­de­pen­dence when just a child, said in a state­ment last week: “I be­lieve I re­flect the new face of the Scot­tish Na­tional Party, and am de­ter­mined to ac­tively cam­paign and strive for an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land.

“I have been inspired by the over­whelm­ing sup­port of this cause from lo­cal peo­ple and their unity of pur­pose in seek­ing to change ex­ist­ing in­equal­i­ties in our so­ci­ety.

“Our con­stituency has been taken for granted for too long, by politi­cians who ex­pect to be re­turned re­elected, de­spite their in­ac­tiv­ity and fail­ure to rep­re­sent the views of their elec­torate. I will be a strong voice for the Ruther­glen con­stituency.”

Among her pri­or­i­ties, she said she will se­cure a new sec­ondary school for Half­way and op­pose the Cathkin Re­lief Road.

The Re­former quizzed her on her Labour past and she said: “The de­ci­sion (to join the SNP) was made dur­ing the In­dyref when it be­came quite clear to me that my be­liefs were no longer held by the Labour Party.

“Mhairi Black stole my quote, I didn’t leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left me.”

How­ever, her sug­ges­tion he takes the con­stituency for granted was rub­bished by James Kelly MSP, who said: “I take noth­ing for granted. Since first be­ing elected eight years ago, I’ve han­dled just un­der 8000 in­di­vid­ual con­stituent en­quiries with cases rang­ing from hous­ing and GP pro­vi­sion to cuts to col­lege places, and ev­ery­thing in-be­tween.

“Over the last few days alone, I’ve held a drop-in surgery, picked up case­work on the doorstep, and even an­swered ques­tions on Face­book.

“I have a record of tak­ing lo­cal is­sues to the floor of the Par­lia­ment. For ex­am­ple, last week I called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to in­vest in lo­cal GPs, and made the case for a liv­ing wage for em­ploy­ees at the new Ruther­glen McDon­ald’s.

“Ms Haughey is to be con­grat­u­lated on her se­lec­tion. I am go­ing to run a pos­i­tive cam­paign – I hope she will join me in a re­spect­ful de­bate.”

Mr Kelly cur­rently en­joys a slen­der ma­jor­ity of 1779 although the SNP will be favourites af­ter win­ning the Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West seat in May’s gen­eral elec­tion.

I will be a strong voice for the Ruther­glen con­stituency

Can­di­date Clare Haughey, the SNP’s can­di­date for Ruther­glen, en­joys Owl Magic at Over­toun Park

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