MP ‘confident’ SNP can win by-election in Margaret Ferrier’s constituency

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An SNP MP has said he is “confident” his party can win a by-election in Margaret Ferrier’s constituency if one is called.

David Linden, the party’s spokesman on social justice, also said he does not recognise reports that some in the SNP Westminster group feel the party lacks a clear offer to the electorate.

Ms Ferrier, a former SNP MP who now sits as an independent, hits week lost her appeal against a proposed 30-day suspension from the Commons for her Covid rule-breaking.

It brings the possibility of a by-election in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency closer, though a recall petition must take place first before this can go ahead.

On Tuesday, Mr Linden was asked on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme if he is worried about the constituency in the event of a by-election.

David Linden
David Linden said he confident the SNP would win a by-election (UK Parliament/PA)

“That’s the concern that has been raised by the people in Rutherglen and Hamilton West and we relish the opportunity to get the focus of the UK Government in that by-election on to the cost-of-living crisis.”

He was also asked about a report in The Times on an “away day” meeting of SNP MPs, which said there is disquiet among the group due to a lack of strategy in the party.

Mr Linden said he does not recognise this description, saying: “Our firm focus is on holding the feet of the Tories to the fire on the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Glasgow East MP also hit out at the Conservative UK Government’s trade union legislation, likening it to approaches taken in “Russia, Hungary and Belarus”.

He said the minimum service level legislation could result in a “power grab” where the UK Government is able to overrule the Scottish Government in public sector industrial disputes.

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