Scottish Labour candidate dropped after independence comments

Labour said Hollie Cameron, who indicated she might be in favour of a second referendum, was replaced as a candidate.

Scottish Labour candidate dropped after independence comments PA Ready

A Scottish Labour candidate for the Holyrood elections has been dropped by the party following comments she made about a potential second independence referendum.

An interview panel from Scottish Labour’s governing body said they were not satisfied that Hollie Cameron, who was due to stand in Glasgow Kelvin, would follow the party whip.

It comes after she told the Sunday National newspaper she “respects the right” to have a second referendum on independence but her only “quibble” was on timing.

Anas Sarwar, who was elected party leader at the end of February, has repeatedly voiced his opposition to another independence referendum.

The party says it will move “promptly” to find another candidate ahead of the election in May.

A spokesperson for Scottish Labour said: “Hollie Cameron was not able to satisfy an SEC (Scottish Executive Committee) interview panel that she would follow the Scottish Labour group whip if elected as an MSP, and the SEC panel has therefore withdrawn their endorsement of her candidacy, meaning that she is ineligible to be a Scottish Labour candidate.

“Arrangements will be put in place to fill the vacancy promptly.”

During the Scottish Labour leadership election, Sarwar’s opponent Monica Lennon said it was important the party did not “deny democracy” if a pro-independence majority is elected to Holyrood in May.

In the interview published at the weekend, Cameron said: “I do know the Scottish Labour Party has a policy that says the right to have a referendum is something the Scottish Labour Party respects.

“The only quibble appears to be the timing and there are different opinions in the Labour Party.

“There are some of us who think that timing should be when the public wants and when the electorate wants to have that referendum.

“There are those who say we can’t possibly have a referendum while trying to rebuild our country after Covid.

“That to me is something that is not mutually exclusive – I think we can consider our constitution and rebuild after Covid if there is the political will to do that.”

Responding to the news that Cameron had been dropped in Glasgow Kelvin, SNP candidate Kaukab Stewart said: “Anas Sarwar has failed his first test of leadership, by making it abundantly clear that any Labour supporters who believe that the people of Scotland have a democratic right to choose their own future are not welcome in his party.

“That explains why people across Scotland have given up on Scottish Labour – voters just can’t take them seriously anymore.

“It is the people who live here who should decide what kind of country Scotland should be – not Boris Johnson – and Labour’s dismissive attitude towards that democratic right won’t wash with voters.”

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