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Leaving Labour for the SNP

Campaigning with Tories on Indy was abhorrent to me, says MSP Clare
Clare Haughey

IN THE latest iScot Q & A feature, DAVE BOWMAN puts the questions to one of the SNP’s newest MSPs, CLARE HAUGHEY - who, last May, became the first nationalist to represent Rutherglen at Holyrood since the Scottish Parliament was established 19 years ago.

As a former NHS nursing professional for over 20 years; an ex-Labour member and an enthusiastic and committed trade unionist, Clare’s responses illustrate exactly why the SNP has replaced Labour as Scotland’s most popular and influential political party.

DAVE BOWMAN: You left Labour and joined the SNP following the 2014 referendum after campaigning for a Yes vote as part of the Labour for Independence group. Was it an easy decision to make and how were you received in your new party?

CLARE: My politics have always been on the left of centre so the prospect of building a country where we can prioritise the needs of the many and not the few always appealed to me. I cannot understand how anyone could not want to be able to determine what happens in their own country. Prior to the independence referendum the Labour Party had never stated a position on Scottish independence so I was really angry when I was told that we were “better together “with no discussion about what party members and supporters wanted. Personally I found sharing not only a platform, but also a campaign with the Tories and other right wing parties quite abhorrent. There was no way I could ever continue to remain a member or supporter of a party that had done this. It ran counter to everything I believe in. I remained a Labour Party member until after the referendum, campaigning with Labour For Independence, because I felt I had a responsibility to demonstrate that the Yes Campaign was bigger than the SNP as was being portrayed in the media.

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iScot Magazine February 2017