Kelly’s picked

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

James Kelly MSP has been unan­i­mously se­lected as the Labour can­di­date for Ruther­glen at next year’s Scot­tish elec­tion.

Mr Kelly has rep­re­sented the area since 2007 and will go up against Clare Haughey of the SNP with a nar­row ma­jor­ity of un­der 2000.

James Kelly MSP has been unan­i­mously re­s­e­lected by Scot­tish Labour mem­bers to fight the Ruther­glen seat at next year’s Scot­tish elec­tion.

The 51-year-old is de­fend­ing a slen­der ma­jor­ity of 1779 over the SNP.

He was first elected to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to rep­re­sent the area in 2007 and was re­turned again in 2011.

Prior to en­ter­ing public of­fice, Mr Kelly worked as a Busi­ness An­a­lyst in the elec­tric­ity in­dus­try.

He lives in Cam­bus­lang with his wife and two daugh­ters.

Dur­ing his time as an MSP, he has taken on over 8,000 cases from con­stituents, rang­ing from hous­ing mat­ters, to com­plaints about med­i­cal treat­ment, as well as pe­ti­tions and cam­paigns.

He is cur­rently Scot­tish Labour’s Busi­ness Man­ager hav­ing pre­vi­ously acted as chief whip and Labour’s spokesper­son on com­mu­nity safety and in­fra­struc­ture, in­vest­ment and cities strat­egy.

Last year he co-chaired Jim Mur­phy’s bid for lead­er­ship of Scot­tish Labour and has been ear­marked to play a key role in Labour’s cam­paign for Holy­rood in 2016.

Speak­ing af­ter his re­s­e­lec­tion, Mr Kelly said: “It is an hon­our to serve the lo­cal peo­ple of my area and rep­re­sent the com­mu­ni­ties I grew up in and have lived my whole life, and I’m grate­ful to have been given the op­por­tu­nity to do it again.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to lead­ing a pos­i­tive, open cam­paign, cen­tred around lo­cal is­sues which mat­ter to the peo­ple of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

“There has been a real buzz in the party un­der our new lead­er­ship of Jeremy Cor­byn and Kezia Dug­dale - and I’ll be putting Labour’s val­ues at the heart of the cam­paign.

“I have a track record of cam­paign­ing on the is­sues which af­fect my con­stituents: from sav­ing bus ser­vices, to fight­ing for more GPs for the area, and call­ing on com­pa­nies to pay work­ers a de­cent wage, I am pas­sion­ate about stand­ing up for the peo­ple of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang.

“Next year, Scot­tish Labour must be ef­fec­tive in call­ing out the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s fail­ings: on NHS fund­ing, ap­palling ed­u­ca­tion at­tain­ment lev­els, and cuts to coun­cils across the coun­try – but also pro­vide a pos­i­tive al­ter­na­tive.

“While the SNP gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh polls well as a party, their poli­cies do not.

“I’m con­fi­dent that with a strong man­i­festo, the peo­ple of Scot­land will place their trust in Labour’s vi­sion.”

Mr Kelly will face stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the SNP’s Clare Haughey, who re­cently ac­cused her op­po­nent of tak­ing the area for granted.

The SNP over­turned a huge ma­jor­ity to take Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West from Labour in May’s gen­eral elec­tion and will be the favourites to make it a dou­ble in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang come next May.

Also con­firmed as stand­ing is Tay­lor Muir for the Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tives.

Mr Kelly won with 46.1 per cent of the vote in 2011 from a turnout of 47.7 per cent.

There has been a real buzz in the party un­der our new lead­er­ship

Can­di­date James Kelly MSP

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