MSP makes her maiden speech to Holyrood
Clare Haughey talks of her pride at growing up in constituency
Clare Haughey MSP used her maiden speech in the Scottish Parliament to speak about her hopes for the Rutherglen constituency.
The SNP member also paid tribute to James Kelly MSP, who she defeated in May’s election.
Talking during the debate ‘ Taking Scotland Forward: Creating a Fairer Scotland’ on Thursday, June 2, she said: “I am a Rutherglen girl. I grew up in the town, I spent my childhood playing in the local streets and parks, and I attended local schools.
“I returned to the area to raise my own family, knowing that it is an ideal place to live, to learn and to work.
“Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Halfway and Blantyre have an industrial heritage of coal mining, steel works and manufacturing. All those industries played a key part in building up the constituency and the populations of the area.
“That local industry was decimated during the Thatcher era and we recently saw shadows of that past in the threat to the Liberty House steel works in Cambuslang. Through the Scottish Government and the steel task force’s efforts, we were relieved to have that threat alleviated.
“I am extremely proud and humbled to have been trusted by my local community to come to parliament to represent them. I intend to do that to the best of my ability.”
On her predecessor, she said: “I am sure that the people of Rutherglen were grateful for the representation that he (James Kelly) gave them here.
“James Kelly was elected on the Glasgow list, and so has returned to the Scottish Parliament. I look forward to working with him and all the Glasgow list MSPs from across the parties to ensure that the Rutherglen constituency thrives and grows over the next five years.”
Earlier in her speech, Ms Haughey had spoken of her wish to see a fairer Scotland, “where everyone has the same opportunities to succeed in life regardless of their background, race, creed, age, gender or sexuality.”
She praised the Scottish Government for introducing a baby box for newborns.
Ms Haughey spoke of her previous career as a nurse, focussing on burseries for midwifery students and the impact of benefits changes on people’s mental health.
She also said she had a “vested interest” in the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill, saying: “As an active trade unionist for many years, I have fought discrimination and unfair working practices.
“This government has pledged to do all that it can to mitigate the bill’s effects.”
Speech Clare Haughey MSP addresses parliament for the first time