Clydesdale ‘rebels’ in Holyrood battle

Scottish Parliament (Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)
Scottish Parliament (Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

The battle for the Clydesdale Constituency in May’s Holyrood election will be a six-way fight with two well-known local politicians standing as independent candidates against their former parties.

As was already known, the sitting constituency MSP Aileen Campbell of the SNP will face Labour’s Claudia Beamish, the sitting South of Scotland List member.

The Conservatives have revealed their candidate as council veteran Alex Allison and the Liberal Democrats are putting forward Jennifer Jamieson Ball.

Throwing their hand in are two non-party candidates, both well-established in local politics

Former SNP member the Rev Bev Gauld is standing as a Clydesdale and South of Scotland Independent and former Labour councillor Danny Meikle is standing as an Independent.

Councillor Gauld, who still represents the Upperward/Carnwath/Carstairs area as an Independent member of South Lanarkshire Council, resigned from the SNP over the party’s support for same-sex marriages.

He was the Church of Scotland minister for Carnwath for over three decades.

Former Labour councillor Danny Meikle, based in Coalburn, was once one of his party’s leading figures, chairing, for a while, South Lanarkshire Council’s powerful planning committee.

He stood down from the council at the last local authority poll and was thought to have retired from politics.

Both men now standing for the Holyrood Clydesdale seat were members of the former Clydesdale District Council.

It is planned for all six Clydesdale candidates to face each other at a hustings meeting in Lanark being organised by the town’s Community Council, a date and venue still to be confirmed.

This election will be the first since 2007 in which the Liberal-Democrats have fielded a candidate.

With Jennifer Jamieson Ball carrying their hopes plus the two independents, the field of six candidates is exactly double the number voters had to choose from in 2011’s election.