Inside Scottish Labour selections: Glasgow North West
A key marginal for Labour, North West is becoming a showdown between former MSP Patricia Ferguson and Rutherglen Councillor, Martin Lennon.
Both candidates supported Richard Leonard’s leadership bid, as did the main CLPs in the constituency, Glasgow Anniesland, Maryhill and Springburn and Glasgow Kelvin. Both Ferguson and Lennon were also supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership nationally, supporting him in 2015 and 2016.
An MSP until 2016, Ferguson is seen as the frontrunner for the seat, while Martin Lennon is hoping that his victory in a South Lanarkshire council by-election shows he can mobilise activists on a left-wing policy platform to win seats back for Labour.
Contested in 2016 by Michael Shanks, Glasgow North West has the largest SNP majority Labour will need to overturn, although activists argue that overturning SNP MP Carol Monaghan’s 2,561 majority is still achievable by Labour.
In a statement, Patricia Ferguson told The Red Robin she was running to end “the hurt and damage inflicted by Tory austerity.”
“I could reel off hundreds of statistics – reflecting the appalling rise in precarious and insecure work, a sky-rocketing cost of living and public services under increasing, and growing pressure.
“I could point to the examples of hurt, anger and suffering caused by the hand-maidens of Tory austerity in Scotland, the SNP. The doubling of childcare costs in Glasgow, public services starved of vital resources and a Scottish Government unwilling to intervene for the long-term health of the economy.”
“But Labour’s case, to be given the chance to serve once again, must be based on more than an anti-Tory or anti-SNP agenda. I had the enormous honour and privilege of serving for 17 years in the Scottish Parliament.”
“I am standing in this selection contest because I have the experience, commitment and energy to take on the SNP in Glasgow North West and to help deliver a Labour Government.”
The main challenger is Martin Lennon, a left-wing Councillor from Rutherglen, who amongst others has the backing of Unite, Owen Jones, the Scottish Campaign for Socialism and newly elevated peer Pauline Bryan.
Announcing his intention to stand, Lennon argued that the “Labour Party needs to offer radical policies that will address the crises of austerity, poverty and inequality that face our communities. If selected that is exactly what I will do.”
The photo used in this article comes from the 2016 Council Campaign in the Glasgow North West constituency.