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Who’s who on the Scottish Labour left

Your round-up ahead of the May 5 Holyrood elections

Neil Findlay

A former bricklayer and school teacher, Findlay is convener of Labour’s Campaign for Socialism.

Strongly backed by the trade unions, he stood for leader against Jim Murphy in 2014. He has campaigned tirelessly on issues such as blacklisting, miners’ justice and on health issues and was named Community MSP of the Year in 2015.

He is standing in the Almond Valley constituency against the SNP’s Angela Constance, who is widely regarded as one of the SNP weakest ministers. Findlay is also second on the Lothian list for Labour.


Scott Nicholson

Scott Nicholson is former biomedical scientist and is currently a PhD student at West of Scotland University.

He is contesting the Perthshire South and Kinross-shire constituency. He is a member of Campaign for Socialism and calls for a more equal sharing of wealth.

In the Scottish Parliament he would argue for fairer taxation, public investment and regulation of the market but also for an economy that serves people through government planning rather than reliance on capitalism and market forces.


Cara Hilton

A Labour Party member since she was 15, Hilton joined Labour’s Campaign for Socialism when it was first founded, to defend clause four.

She has worked in many jobs outside politics, in the NHS, local government, for Usdaw and as a child-minder. She has also served as a Fife councillor.

Hilton has three children, all at primary school, and is Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for children and young people. She entered Parliament in 2013 following a by-election in her Dunfermline constituency.



Nathan Morrison

Nathan Morrison is the Scottish Labour candidate for Banff and Buchan. He grew up in the local area before studying at Aberdeen University and later Nankai University in China.

He has been a councillor at Aberdeen since 2012 and is now standing to use the new powers available to the Scottish Parliament to fight against the austerity programme spearheaded by the Tories and the nationalists and begin the work of building a socialist society across Britain.



Elaine Smith

An MSP since 1999, Smith is one of the Parliament’s deputy presiding officers.

Prior to entering Parliament, she was a teacher and local government employee.

Smith was an outspoken and consistent critic of New Labour on issues such as Iraq and PFI. She is a member of CND and Unite.

In 2005 she successfully introduced legislation ensuring mothers’ breastfeeding rights.

She is convener of the RMT Scottish parliamentary group and a longstanding campaigner to keep CalMac ferries under public ownership. She is seeking re-election in the Coatbridge and Chryston constituency.



Bill Butler

Bill Butler is the Labour Co-operative candidate for the Anniesland seat he represented up until the 2011 election.

He had been elected in the by-election following the death of first minister Donald Dewar.

A graduate of the University of Stirling and Notre Dame College of Education, he taught at a number of schools in Renfrew District and in Rutherglen prior to becoming an MSP. He currently sits on Glasgow City Council.

He is a member of CND and a committed campaigner against nuclear weapons. Butler is a committed trade unionist and GMB member.



Richard Leonard

Richard Leonard has been an industrial organiser for the GMB in Scotland for the past 20 years.

He was previously head of economics at the STUC and a parliamentary researcher for former MEP Alex Falconer and studied politics and economics at Stirling University. He has been active in the Labour Party for 30 years, including a time as the party chair.

He was a founding member of the Keir Hardie Society, is a member of the Scottish Steel Task Force and stood in the Ayrshire seat of Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley at the 2011 Holyrood election. He will contest the Airdrie and Shotts seat.



Gerry McGarvey

Gerry McGARVEY is Scottish Labour candidate for Orkney. He believes Scottish Labour is the only party prepared to tax the rich, redistribute wealth and end austerity.

He was was born in Falkirk into a family steeped in Labour politics and trade union activism. He has been involved in youth and community work and adult education most of his adult life in Britain and abroad.

He remembers fondly his time as a community worker in Liverpool following the Toxteth riots before moving to Sunderland, helping unemployed and disadvantaged adults improve their lives.

He is a proud supporter of the Morning Star.



Joe Cullinane

Joe Cullinane comes from a family of Labour activists and trade unionists and is currently a councillor on North Ayrshire Council.

He has built up a reputation as a hard-working and very active campaigner on local issues such as bus service cuts, payday lending, college mergers and education cuts. He previously worked for former left-wing MP Katy Clark. He is contesting the Cunningham South seat.



Lesley Brennan

An economist by profession, Brennan entered Parliament as a list MSP following the resignation of Richard Baker earlier this year.

She also serves as a councillor on Dundee City Council. She stood for Labour in Dundee at the 2015 general election, when she refused to accept a campaign donation from Tony Blair. Lesley is on the north-east list.



Samantha Ritchie

Samantha Ritchie is a trade union activist, is currently chair of STUC young members committee and is active within her own union, Unite.

Ritchie currently works for a women’s equality organisation. She has campaigned to end zero-hours contracts, against austerity, against public-sector cuts and for a woman’s right to choose.



Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney was born in Glasgow in 1989 and raised in a working-class family in the north of the city.

Son and grandson of shipbuilders, Paul was rooted in the Labour tradition from an early age and joined the party age 16.

He takes an active role in his community as secretary of a charitable trust that is working to restore the historic Victorian Winter Gardens in his local park.



Siobhan McCready

Siobhan McCready is a Unite activist and well-known community worker in the Inverclyde area.

She was selected to replace Duncan McNeil who has been the MSP since 1999. With strong roots in the community, she is well-respected in the constituency.



Mary Lockhart

Mary Lockhart is a former chair of the Scottish Co-operative Party, and currently campaigns on housing, services contracted out to the private sector, and co-operative reformation of the welfare state to protect it from TTIP and further privatisation.



Craig Martin

Craig Martin is a councillor in Falkirk and previously worked for Michael Connarty MP.

Martin has a doctorate in chemistry from Glasgow University. He is a member of Unite and is standing in Falkirk East.



Angela Feeney

Angela Feeney is a member of Campaign for Socialism and chair of Motherwell and Wishaw CLP.

She was one of the volunteers behind the Wishaw to Calais aid convoy, which seeks to help refugees arriving in Europe.



LizAnne Handibode

LizAnne Handibode works as a trading officer with South Lanarkshire Council. She is a Labour Party member of 30 years’ standing and an active member of Unison for East Kilbride.



Carol Mochan

The mum-of-two from Mauchline worked in the NHS before starting a successful local business. Mochan is a director of a local children’s organisation in Ayrshire. She is contesting the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency.



Ann Henderson

Ann Henderson is STUC assistant secretary and an active campaigner on gender equality both in Scotland and internationally for over 30 years.

She was involved in establishing the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, bringing a gender analysis to the Scottish Parliament’s scrutiny of the Scottish government’s spending plans.

Henderson has worked in the rail industry, employed as a ticket collector, guard and then train driver, where she was an active member of the NUR (the National Union of Railwaymen, now the RMT), and was instrumental in developing policies on sexual harassment, equal opportunities, encouraging and representing women in the industry, and in establishing the NUR women’s committee.


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