Senior Scottish minister ‘guarantees’ SNP reflection after by-election defeat

Scotland’s Net Zero Secretary has guaranteed her party will reflect on the reasons for its defeat in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election last week.

Labour’s Michael Shanks took the seat – vacated by former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier after a recall petition – with more than double the votes of the SNP candidate Katy Loudon on Thursday.

The result, analysts suggest, could see Labour become the largest party north of the border at the next general election, should it be replicated across the country.

POLITICS Rutherglen
(PA Graphics)

Speaking to the PA news agency on Tuesday, Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan said the by-election was fought under “exceptional circumstances” owing to Ms Ferrier’s breach of Covid regulations that led to her being kicked out of the SNP and, eventually, her seat.

She added: “I understand that, as a party, we have to think very carefully about what (the by-election loss) says to us.

“We are not a party who ever take our success or our support from the people of Scotland for granted.

“We’re in the very early aftermath of it, but I can guarantee everybody that the SNP will think very carefully about that and about how we regroup and re-emerge from it.”

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