Inside Scottish Labour selections: Edinburgh North and Leith

Local party members will have their say in a three-way contest between veteran left-winger Councillor Gordon Munro, local Councillor Marion Donaldson, and youth activist Frances Carmel Hoole.

The constituency has the highest proportion of tenement housing and flats of anywhere in Britain, and was hit hard by de-industrialisation and the closure of most the shipbuilding industries by the 1980s. 

More recently, the area has seen an upsurge in students and graduates moving into the area, making them a key demographic that Labour needs to win over to be in with a chance of taking back the seat.

Labour lost Leith, an area which it had held since 1945 in 2015, with the SNP’s Deidre Brock taking the seat with 41 per cent of the vote, and a majority of 5,597 over Labour’s Mark Lazarowicz. 

However, in 2017 Labour’s candidate Gordon Munro managed to cut the majority down to 1,625, and is keen to continue the fight to take back the seat. 

In a statement to The Red Robin, Mr. Munro said: “I joined the party in 1982  and have been an active member since then. I have been privileged to have served as Councillor for Leith for 15 years, since 2003. 

I’m a member of Unite trade union, the Cuba Solidarity campaign, Amnesty International, Scottish CND, Scotmid Co-operative , the Co-op Party and was a founding member of the Campaign for Socialism. 

I’m proud to have the support of my good comrade and friend Neil Findlay and to have nominated Jeremy Corbyn, twice, and Richard Leonard for the leadership of our party. 

Our manifesto ‘ For the Many not the few ‘ is a platform on which we build support and deliver in Government, as the change the many need - to prevent the tyranny of the few.”

Also contesting the selections are Marion Donaldson, a local Councillor elected in 2015, and Frances Carmel Hoole a successful applicant to the Jo Cox program to encourage more women to stand for leadership roles within the party, who told The Robin she was standing as: “I have always felt a natural affinity with the Labour values of fairness and equality. 

I work in education and care, so I spend a great deal of my time with the most vulnerable people in society, who are towards the beginning and the end of their journeys. 

We do our best but it’s not enough to make up for the systemic difference that’s needed. 

I feel when politicians are talking about the struggles of the younger generation with unaffordable, unremarkable housing, low wages and never ending debt that it’s me they are talking about. 

So why not me who should talk about it? More importantly, why not me who changes it?”

Councillor Donaldson did not respond to requests for a statement on her candidature. 

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