Why the SNP would not fear Labour in a by-lection in Rutherglen and Hamilton West

Right off, I don’t think Margaret Ferrier should be forced to resign and I don’t think that, consequently, there should a by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. Why not. This:

If can stay, why can’t she?

However, if there was to be one, the good folk of the constituency would have little reason to trust Labour again.

While Margaret Ferrier’s predescessor, Gerard Killen seems to have done little or no harm in his two years from 2017 to 2019, those around him had barely had the time to get started again exploiting the ‘gravy boat’ situation they found themselves in before the SNP ousted them again.

As recently as 2010, we had this unedifying image of Labour:

TOMMY McAVOY MP this week explained how he had financed his purchase of the County Inn in Cambuslang.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP was speaking after reports in a national newspaper said he was coming under pressure to reveal full details of how he financed the purchase of the troubled boozer, which has racked up debts of over half a million pounds.

Mr McAvoy bought the County from Cambuslang millionaire Willie Haughey, who himself has come under pressure due to close links with the Labour Party.

Figures published suggest that Haughey made a profit of £176,250 on selling the County, which he had owned for just a year.

Mr Haughey said he had never met Mr McAvoy socially and that he had no idea how he financed the deal. Opposition politicians said in the interests of fairness, Mr McAvoy should publish a full account of how he financed the deal.

Conservative MSP for Glasgow, Bill Aitken, who described Mr Haughey’s relationship with the Labour Party as “incestuous,” said: “In the present climate, transparency is essential,” while John Mason, the Rutherglen-born SNP MP for Glasgow East said: “I would call for complete openness, because there’s a whole level of suspicion here between Labour, the council and some of these outside business people.”

According to official documents, Mr McAvoy bought the County Inn, on Dukes Road, for £381,875 in 2001.

The pub is listed in his Register of Interests and is run by his son, Michael.

The Reformer reported last week that Willie Haughey had come under fire after it was alleged he had been unfairly awarded public sector contracts.


This was not a one-of. It’s deep in the Scottish Labour culture.

In 1977 the Procurator Fiscal called in Strathclyde Regional Pol ice Fraud Squad to investigate irregularities’

Also in 1977. The then vice chairperson of housing and Labour councillor for Hutchesontown, a Mrs Catherine Cantley, was forced to resign her position because of a house transfer involving her son. Councillor Cantley was accused of ‘serious misconduct’ after her son and his ‘mistress’ were transferred from a three-apartment house in the Gorbals to a bigger one in the ‘high amenity area’ of Mansewood.


More recently, in 2016 who can forget this one?

As always, this is a quick response. Readers will have many more examples of what Scottish Labour can do for itself.


8 thoughts on “Why the SNP would not fear Labour in a by-lection in Rutherglen and Hamilton West

  1. Why not wait another year for GE. The corruption in Westminster is beyond redemption. Yet there is no GE to wipe the lot of them out. The countdown has begun.


  2. Although she is no longer an S.N.P M.P, she has been thrown under the bus by both Nicola, and Humza.
    Personally, I believe for what was a minor infraction, the suspension from Westminster should suffice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As far as I am aware no one was infected, or indeed died due to Ferrier’s action. Compare that with L.B.J, and his criminal cohorts behaviour, which caused thousands of deaths.


  4. As many will be aware, there are mixed views amongst the public – some strongly held and I suspect for various reasons – on the case of Ms Ferrier’s breeches of lockdown rules. What has not been reported by the media is that there were mixed views within Westminster’s Committee on Standards too, not on the facts that she was wrong to do as she did but on the severity of the sanction that should be applied to her.

    Here is a link to the relevant Committee on Standards report: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/290/committee-on-standards/news/194555/committee-on-standards-publishes-report-on-the-conduct-of-margaret-ferrier-mp/

    Whilst the Committee by a majority voted for Ms Ferrier’s 30 day suspension from the Commons – which crucially, opens up the possibility of a by-election – there are notable MPs on the Committee who wished to limit her suspension from the Commons to just NINE days.

    The nine day suspension was proposed by Alberto Costa, the Tory MP. He was supported by other senior Tories, Sir Bernard Jenkin and Sir Charles Walker. (All three have been prominent in the Committee of Privileges currently investigating Boris Johnson’s alleged misleading of Parliament over parties during lockdown.) The SNP MP Allan Dorrans also supported a nine day suspension. Twelve committee members voted on this: the split was 4 for and 8 against the nine day suspension.

    On the proposed 30 day suspension, the split was similar, 8 for the 30 day suspension and four against. Jenkin, Costa and Walker again with Dorrans opposed a 30 day ban. I think this says something about these senior, experienced politicians’ view of proportionality here!

    This full Committee consists of seven MPs and seven lay members. Two MPs – one Tory and one Labour – voted for a 30 day suspension along with all lay members. So a majority of MPs supported the more lenient sanction.

    Alberto Costa also proposed that the text of the judgement be modified to include the following statement:

    ‘Amendment proposed, in line 1, after “mitigating factors:” to insert “a) Ms Ferrier was a woman on her own in London, not her home city. There were no family or close friends to assist her. Her actions were not designed to enrich her or give her any form of benefit in kind. Her behaviour and judgement was directly affected by her distress and panic in her health condition and loneliness;”.—(Alberto Costa.)’

    This was defeated by seven voters to five. Amongst MPs, ONLY the Labour member voted againts Costa’s amendment.

    Finally, Sir Bernard Jenkin brought this statement to a vote:

    ‘In arriving at the decision on sanction, the Committee has had to take account of the effect of the Recall of MPs Act 2015. The recommended sanction, if approved by the House, will trigger the possibility of recall. We believe the operation of the Act requires review.’

    The Committee members – including ALL MPs – voted eight to four in support of his statement.

    I contend – without wishing to understate the seriousness and foolishness of Ms Ferrier’s action – that this FULLER information on the Committee’s deliberations shows matters in a somewhat different light – but one that will not be shone by the media and so one that will rarely be seen!


    1. Also worth adding that she was subject to 2 police investigations. One by the Met which found she did not break the rules as they stood in England when she travelled and one by Police Scotland. The latter led to her arrest and subsequent trial in which she was given a 270 hour community service order.


      Compare and contrast that to filling in a questionnaire and a subsequent £50 fine.

      It is also worth pointing out when it comes to mitigations for her behaviour that ‘brain fog’ is a well recorded symptom of Covid-19 infections and may have impaired her judgement/decision making.

      It will be interesting to see if the 30 day suspension is confirmed whether they will get 8,000 signatures on a recall petition to trigger a by-election.


  5. Given the majority of the MPs on the committee voted for the 9 days which would not have created the opportunity for a by election, Parliament could reasonably take the view that they should not impose the 30 day suspension. For political reasons in the hope of damaging the SNP, I suspect the 30 day recommendation will go through which ought to mean Boris should suffer at least that fate. I doubt that he will which will look bad which I suggest is why 3 of the 4 Tories went for 9 days.


    1. I think you are right in your assessment of the Tory thinking, probably looking to minimise the likely punishment for BoJo


  6. Rutherglen Labour Party – do they still hold their committee meeting in the posh seats at Cel;tic Park on a Saturday?


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