As a working-class girl growing up in Lanarkshire, it never crossed my mind that one day I would be seeking to lead the Scottish Labour Party. I am proud and excited to be asking for your support.
My family and community shaped my politics. I learned about the workplace from my dad. He got a second chance at education and worked his way up to be a health and safety manager within the local council. He cared about people having dignity at work and for their physical and mental well-being, when stress and mental health was rarely discussed.
My dad had his own battles, mainly with alcohol, and he had to stop working aged 50. He died from alcohol-related illnesses at 60. It broke my heart, however, it made me determined to fight for better healthcare and support for people before they reach a crisis.
The Labour Party was created to give opportunities to working people and to enable them to make a better life for themselves. Our politics should be about getting things done and delivering results – real positive change that will improve people’s lives. First as a councillor, and now as an MSP and party health and social care spokesperson, my politics has always been rooted in making life better for working people and ending poverty.
In my first term in Parliament, I delivered the world-leading Period Products Bill, working with trade unions and with campaigners and activists in communities all over Scotland and beyond. As leader, my ambition will be to work with all of you to deliver world-leading public services, including a publicly-owned National Care Service.
The last decade of devolution has in many ways been a disappointment. The SNP’s record is not one to be proud of and the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the health and wealth inequalities that existed before Covid-19.
The Scottish Labour Party that I lead will face the country as it is today. The next Parliament must be focused on Covid-19 recovery. As leader, I will work with all our members and affiliates to ensure it is a people’s recovery.
Independence is not the answer to Scotland’s problems, but we will never defeat the argument by running away from it. Scottish Labour cannot opt out of an issue that the country is still talking about. Our job is to inspire people by offering a socialist alternative, rooted in our commitment to devolution and bringing power closer to the people.
I’m in politics to win for working people. The people who juggled home-schooling and work; the people who kept shelves stocked and the country connected; the people who saved lives every day while risking their own. Too many people in Scotland are undervalued and too many have nothing at all. That’s why I’m not prepared to sit on the side-lines.
As Scottish Labour leader, I will provide a new generation of leadership while staying true to our values. I will fight every day for radical social and economic change.
Email: [email protected]
Call: 07856 940 736