Edinburgh and Glasgow seats likely to see hot competition for SNP candidate selection
SNP CAMPAIGNER Toni Giugliano has become the latest candidate to throw his hat in the ring for the party’s selection contests in the recently announced June General Election.
Giugliano, who contested the Edinburgh Western seat for the party in 2016, told CommonSpace he wanted to stand in the snap election called by Tory Prime Minister Theresa May.
Giugliano, an Italian-born campaigner in favour of remaining in the European Union and an organiser with the pro-independence organisation Yes Scotland in 2014, said he would wait for confirmation from the party on selection rules before confirming the seat he would seek to stand in.
However, Giugliano – who has connections to both Glasgow and Edinburgh – would most likely have the clearest opportunities in the Edinburgh West, Edinburgh South, or Glasgow East seats. These three seats do not currently have SNP MPs. There is also the possibility that all women shortlists could be used as a selection procedure by the party.
Giugliano told CommonSpace that his background as an EU citizen in Scotland and as an organiser across different groups during the independence campaign made him well suited as a candidate.
“I’m an EU migrant and the way Theresa May has treated EU migrants with contempt needs to be challenged,” he said. “We need to lead from the front about what kind of country Scotland is and what country Scotland wants to be.
“I want to challenge a Hard Brexit. We didn’t vote vote for Brexit, we didn’t vote for a Hard Brexit, and we didn’t vote to leave the single market.”
Giugliano emphasised that he is “a Yes candidate” with work supporting youth campaigning and LGBT groups that “demonstrated that yes was the progressive movement” in 2014.
“I want to be able to carry that on again until the next Scottish referendum,” he said.
The Edinburgh West seat is currently held by Michelle Thomson, who was elected as an SNP MP before resigning the party whip in September 2015 while Police Scotland investigations were ongoing into property transactions linked to her. In late 2016 it was reported that MP colleagues wanted her reinstated in the party.
The SNP told CommonSpace that the party NEC “will meet in the coming days to agree procedure for all candidates”. It is so far unclear if Thomson will stand again as an independent, stand again for the SNP or if the SNP will select a new candidate with a clear run at the seat.
Rosa Zambonini, outgoing councillor in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, confirmed to CommonSpace earlier today that she has applied to the party to stand in Glasgow East – currently held by Natalie McGarry MP.
Labour’s only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, has confirmed he will stand again in Edinburgh South.
SNP sources told CommonSpace that they expect the party leadership to encourage closed selections for MPs candidates rather than competitive re-selections, given the lack of time until a General Election scheduled for 8 June – just a month after the ongoing council campaign.
Picture courtesy of Toni Giugliano
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