Outgoing SNP councillor seeks to replace Natalie McGarry MP in Glasgow
THE STARTING GUN on selection contests for the newly called 2017 General Election has begun immediately after Theresa May’s announcement of a fresh vote.
With 56 SNP MPs elected out of 59 seats just under two years ago, there are only a handful of selection contests expected in Scotland’s largest party. However, the Glasgow East seat currently held by ex-SNP MP Natalie McGarry is an exception – with McGarry charged with a number of fraud offences in 2016.
As McGarry is currently suspended by the SNP, other candidates can apply to the SNP to stand for the party in the seat taken from Labour’s Margaret Curran.
Rosa Zambonini, an outgoing councillor in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, has confirmed to CommonSpace that she has applied to the party to stand in Glasgow East. Zambonini, who announced last month she would stand down following claims a “smear campaign” was directed against her by Labour colleagues, said she has decided to put her name forward.
“I have decided after a break and careful consideration that now is the time to step up to the plate. In the last month or so I’ve become stronger and realised that every man, woman and child deserves strong representation,” Zambonini told CommonSpace.
“Taking a break from frontline politics has given me time to refocus. I have officially notified SNP HQ of my intention to seek selection in the seat of Glasgow East, with the full support of my friends, colleagues and family.”
Zambonini, since becoming a councillor through a by-election in 2015, has campaigned on issues of poverty, community support, and LGBT inclusion in schools.
In 2015 the SNP won Glasgow East in its national landslide. McGarry won the seat with 56.9 per cent, ahead of Labour on 32.4 per cent. However, McGarry then faced scandal and fraud allegations – leading to her suspension from the SNP. McGarry has previously said there has been “no wrongdoing on her part”.
May made the surprise announcement of a General Election for 8 June.
A SNP spokesperson told CommonSpace: “The party NEC will meet in the coming days to agree procedure for all candidates.”
Picture courtesy of Rosa Zambonini
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