Meet the candidate: Katy Loudon and her fight for Rutherglen

Winning in this by-election is essential to showing Keir Starmer that his policies, lifted straight out of the Tory playbook, are not welcome here in Scotland.

But in the chaos of campaigning, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. So here’s all you need to know about me and my fight to deliver for residents in Rutherglen and Hamilton.

I come from a family of teachers, I know the value of hard work and how important education is for our future generations.
Katy Loudon

I’ve lived in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency for nearly 14 years, first in Cambuslang and now in Rutherglen. My children have attended local nursery, primary school and now high schools – so it’s safe to say I know my community well!

Following in my parents footsteps, I was a primary school teacher for around ten years. I’m from a family of educators and first caught the bug when volunteering at a creche in the church hall when I was still a kid myself. I’ve always been driven by a passion for doing my best for our children and young people.

Since 2017, I’ve represented the Cambuslang East ward at South Lanarkshire Council and I’ve acted as the Chair of Education Resources for 5 years. Delivering for my local area wasn’t always easy but it was hard work worth doing to improve the lives of people in our community, and I’m ready to that again in Westminster.

I won’t compromise on my principles

I want a fairer deal for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, and I know we simply won’t get that with a Labour MP. And with Keir Starmer’s Labour abandoning working people, it’s clear only the SNP will deliver for residents in our community.

The Westminster orthodoxy of Thatcherite economics has been proven to fail, time and time again. Suppressing growth and leaving our most vulnerable at the mercy of the powerful, I’m astounded that Labour are now in lockstep with the Tories on their fiscal policy.

Stale Tory economics and a hard Brexit won’t deliver results in Rutherglen and Hamilton – it’s clear neither of the two Westminster parties understand the needs of Scotland’s diverse economy, and the needs of our local community.

As a passionate pro-European, I’ve been clear about the damage Brexit is doing to Rutherglen and Hamilton.

The constituency alone has lost nearly £150 million on EU imports and exports since Brexit, as well as almost £10 million in funding from the EU. Businesses across Scotland have been directly impacted, affecting trade and economic growth.

Unlike Labour’s candidate, I won’t flip flop on my support for Scotland being back in the EU – and I won’t endlessly u-turn when it comes to fiscal and social policy.

I’m convinced of the SNP’s aim to deliver a wealthier, fairer and greener society for us all. And I’m determined to be a part of that fight against Westminster’s bleak vision of broken, Brexit Britain.

Whether it’s biking, gardening or getting artistic – I love to keep busy

If I love anything in life, it’s a project and a challenge. With the help of local organisation Bike Town, I recently got back on a bike for the first time since I was kid. I definitely need more practice, but I’ll hopefully be scooting around in no time!

I’m also a keen gardener. I’ve been known to ask for tips and tricks when I see a pretty garden while out campaigning, and enjoy getting involved with community planting projects.

I’m working on making my wee space bee-friendly, following local organisation Grow 73’s excellent work establishing a “beeline” through our community, and having visited  bee-friendly projects in our area.

And when I’ve got some time to myself, I smash old tiles and glass! We’ve got a couple of very talented and crafty branch members who have encouraged me to learn mosaic and stained glass art. I like to recycle old bottles and scrap glass this way – there’s nothing like making something broken or unwanted into something pretty.

I’ve been active in my wonderful area for years

I’ve always been a bookworm, and I’ve got a library and information studies qualification as well as a teaching one. When I first moved to Cambuslang with a tiny baby, 14 years ago, the library was a crucial place for me. Before I was elected, I was part of a campaign by Women for Independence to protect library services, and I’ve championed and promoted them ever since.

With Women for Independence Rutherglen, I was involved with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign right as the issue of period poverty began to be discussed. We kept the local foodbank provided with period products before this became a national initiative.

I love my community – now I want to fight for it in Westminster

It’s my passion for my local community that has inspired me to stand to be our next MP. I’m not a career politician and I’ve not been shy about my many interests outside of politics!

But I know that our community can be so much more than just a target seat. Labour have proven over their many decades in Scotland that they either have no interest in standing up for Scotland – or simply aren’t capable. Either way, the area I’m so proud to live in deserves better.

The SNP will never leave communities behind or u-turn on our principles. We know what we stand for and, hopefully, so do you. A stronger and fairer economy, a greener and wealthier society, and a better start for our kids.

I know Labour aren’t up to the job of delivering for my fellow residents. An SNP victory here isn’t just important to protect Rutherglen and Hamilton from Labour’s intransigence, it’s also vital for Scotland to show Keir Starmer that we reject his Tory economics, divisive rhetoric and pro-Brexit stance.

As the First Minister has said himself, Labour are “complacent” about this by-election. Already, they are taking residents in Rutherglen and Hamilton West for granted.

The choice at this by-election is between a party you can trust to stand up for you, and a weakened Scottish Labour with Keir Starmer pulling the strings. Labour’s Scottish branch office is a shadow of its former self, now fully signed up to Sir Keir’s lurch to the right.

If you want to help us win in Rutherglen and Hamilton, you can visit us to help with the vital campaigning. You can be assured of the warmest of welcomes by our experienced team who will match you with campaign activity that you feel comfortable with.

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped so far.

I passionately believe in what the SNP stands for and I’m hearing our message resonating on the doorstep. It’s time to take the fight to Starmer’s right-wing Labour.

And we’re going to win.