Press releases

FERRIER CALLS ON KILLEN TO COME CLEAN ON REFERENDUM CLAIMS

LABOUR CANDIDATE “ATTEMPTS TO WHITEWASH HIS OWN REMARKS”

SNP candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West Margaret Ferrier has blasted her Labour opponent’s claim that a vote for him is one to ‘reject a second referendum’ on Scottish independence, saying that a post on social media reveals his true thoughts.

In March of this year, a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament backed holding a second independence referendum at the end of the Brexit process.

Reacting to news that Prime Minister Theresa May intended to ignore the outcome of the Holyrood vote Labour candidate Gerard Killen tweeted, “Still not over the last indyref & exhausted at the thought of a second but idea that UK Gov will block will of Scottish Parliament is indefensible.”

Ms Ferrier says that Mr Killen must now explain to voters why he has recently deleted the tweet and why his campaign literature contradicts his true position.

Commenting, SNP candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West Margaret Ferrier said:

“Mr Killen has certainly made independence a central campaign issue, urging voters to support him to ‘reject a second referendum’ despite previously saying it would be ‘indefensible’ for Westminster to block it.

“Even he knows his position is confused and contradictory – which perhaps explains his attempts to whitewash his own remarks by deleting his tweet. Voters will make up their own minds on this, but I imagine many will be left thinking that Mr Killen will say anything to try and get elected, even if he himself doesn’t believe it.

“This General Election is not about a second independence referendum – it’s about electing a champion for our communities and a strong voice at Westminster. I’m asking people to place their trust in me again on 8th June to continue my strong track record.”

ENDS

FERRIER IN VOTER REGISTRATION CALL

Margaret Ferrier, the SNP candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, is calling on all those who have not yet registered to vote to do so.

The call comes with less than a week to go until voter registration for the General Election closes.

Commenting, Ms Ferrier said:

“As a result of the many elections and referenda we’ve had in the last few years voter registration levels are quite high, however I’m still speaking with people on doorsteps who haven’t quite got round to it.

“Against the backdrop of Brexit and an increasingly right-wing Tory party determined to continue the pursuit of an ideological austerity agenda, it is more important than ever that people use their vote.

“Don’t lose your chance to have your say in the General Election on 8th June – register to vote today.”

Voter registration takes five minutes online at registertovote.scot. Further information can be sought from the local Electoral Registration Office on 01698 476000. The deadline for voter registration is 11:59pm on 22 May. You don’t need to register again if you’ve already registered.

ENDS

FERRIER CHALLENGES TORY CANDIDATE OVER RAPE CLAUSE

Rutherglen & Hamilton West’s SNP Westminster candidate Margaret Ferrier has today (12 May) written to her Conservative opponent, Ann Le Blond, challenging her to condemn the so-called Tory ‘rape clause’.

In July 2015, George Osborne, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced plans to cut child tax payments to the first two children per family and implement a ‘non-consensual sex exemption’. The policy requires the tax credit claimant to prove to social workers and health professionals that their third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to qualify for the exemption.

The SNP have been leading the calls for the policy to be scrapped at Westminster, with Alison Thewliss, the previous Glasgow Central MP, first raising this issue 22 months ago.

Campaigners argue that the policy is unworkable, and last week the Herald newspaper reported that “in the United States similar welfare policies are being ditched amid concerns about their failure.”

Commenting, SNP candidate Margaret Ferrier said:

“The rape clause is one of the worst policies to come from this increasingly shameful Tory party. Time and again this issue is coming up on doorsteps – countless constituents share my disgust and agree that the rape clause should be immediately scrapped.

“Ann LeBlond has been eager to get into politics – standing as a candidate for Holyrood in Renfrewshire last year, and as a councillor last week – but political office comes with responsibility. I sincerely hope she will join me, the SNP, women’s welfare groups, faith leaders, trade unions and child poverty campaigners in condemning the rape clause.

“The SNP has shown time and again that we are the true opposition to the callous Tories at Westminster and my party will continue to be so after June 8th. This election is a straight fight between the SNP and the Tories, and I hope the people of Rutherglen and Cambuslang put their trust in me once more to continue representing them at Westminster.”

ENDS

NOTES

Copy of letter to Ann Le Blond (personal information redacted)

Recent column written by Margaret Ferrier for the Rutherglen Reformer on the rape clause:

Contained within the small print of the Tory Government’s 2015 Budget was a proposal to limit tax credits to two children and, in order for a third child to qualify for tax credits, women would have to provide evidence of exceptional circumstances, such as rape.

This restriction, effectively a two-child policy, was a horrifying prospect – but made much worse by a proposal that would force survivors of rape to relive a gruesome and traumatic ordeal, simply to receive social security payments.

It is absolutely abhorrent the Tories think that this policy – which came into effect earlier this month – is morally acceptable.

And despite it also being very difficult to implement, the UK Government has pressed ahead regardless – issuing forms that need to be completed and effectively wrapping rape in red tape.

Requiring a woman to prove that her child was conceived as a result of rape is utterly appalling and must be one of the most vile policies ever to come from Westminster, yet it has been totally railroaded through Parliament without debate or the approval of MPs.

The SNP has been resolute from the outset that these policies are immoral, unworkable, and must be scrapped.

My party colleague Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has been tireless in her campaigning on this issue, and her dogged determination has ensured that this issue has not only been kept in the spotlight for almost two years now, but has gathered significant opposition from across the political spectrum and civic society.

Tory ministers even conceded in the consultation response document that “most respondents felt it was unacceptable for the UK Government to ask women to re-live the ordeal of a rape just in order to make a claim for benefit”.

The rape clause and two child policy is now opposed by faith leaders, trade unions, women’s rights campaigners and MPs from every party in the House of Commons.

Reputable charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid are refusing to “collude” with any scheme to assess entitlement for rape victims.

SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison has now written to the UK Government, to advise that there will be no co-operation from the Scottish NHS on what she has called a “terrible policy”.

As a result, Scottish NHS workers will not receive Whitehall guidance on how to implement it.

This resistance from womens’ charities and the Scottish Government raises very serious questions about how the Tories will be able to operate the rape clause in Scotland in practice.

You may wonder where the Scottish Tories have been throughout this.

After months of silence, Ruth Davidson initially tried to hide behind her official spokesperson, then last week came out in open support of the rape clause.

She did so with a pathetic attack on the Scottish Government, attempting to deflect attention from her party’s direct responsibility for this policy.

No amount of misdirection or fuzzy photo opportunities will help Ruth Davidson out this time.

She may think that she has detoxified the Tories in Scotland, but this particular episode has left it brutally clear for all to see that the Conservatives truly are the nasty party.

FERRIER: “BACK ME ON MY RECORD” AS HARDEST-WORKING MP

SNP CANDIDATE SMASHED PREDECESSOR’S SPEAKING RECORD

SNP Westminster candidate Margaret Ferrier has called on Rutherglen and Hamilton West voters to back her on her record, as it was announced that she contributed to more debates and question sessions in two years as an MP than her predecessor did in five.

Figures obtained from Hansard – the official report of everything said by MPs at Westminster – show that since her election in 2015 until Parliament was dissolved last week (3rd May), Ms Ferrier made 304 contributions compared to 301 made by her Labour forerunner over his entire five year term.

Ms Ferrier’s most spoken-about topics include support for the steel industry, state pension inequality, the closure of Cambuslang Jobcentre, mis-selling of solar panels to constituents in Blantyre and Hamilton, and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

Commenting, SNP candidate Margaret Ferrier said:

“Having already been named as the top-talking Scot at Westminster during my time as an MP, surpassing the record of my predecessor within such a short space of time shows just how hard I’ve been working for people right across the constituency.

“I’ve been getting on with the day job, debating key issues that people have contacted me about as well as directly raising constituent cases to help get problems resolved for them; and provided strong opposition to the Tories and their pernicious policies.

“I promised to be a strong voice for Rutherglen & Hamilton West during my election campaign in 2015, and I have delivered. I’m asking voters to back me on my record as the hardest-working MP this constituency has ever had to ensure the Tories are held to account and that Scotland’s voice continues to be heard.”

ENDS

NOTES

Grouped Hansard results:
Margaret Ferrier – https://hansard.parliament.uk/search/MemberContributions?memberId=4386&type=Spoken&outputType=Group
Tom Greatrex – https://hansard.parliament.uk/search/MemberContributions?memberId=4047&type=Spoken&outputType=Group

COUNCIL SUCCESS “PROVES ONLY THE SNP CAN BEAT THE TORIES”

SNP EMERGE AS LARGEST PARTY, LEAVING LABOUR IN DISARRAY

Rutherglen & Hamilton West SNP Westminster candidate Margaret Ferrier said today (6 May) that the SNP victory in the South Lanarkshire Council elections this week “proves only the SNP can beat the Tories” in the forthcoming General Election on 8th June.

The Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party in the council for the first time, taking 27 seats, while Labour finished on 21 – almost half of what the entered the elections with – losing many to the Tories.

The SNP also won the local elections across Scotland with more seats and more votes than any other party, and as the largest party in more councils than any other party.

Commenting, SNP Westminster candidate Margaret Ferrier said:

“The SNP won this election and these results confirm – now more than ever – that only the SNP can stand up to an increasingly hardline right-wing Tory government.

“Labour’s pitiful performance, which saw them lose seat after seat to the Conservatives, proves only the SNP can beat the Tories. Labour are fast becoming totally irrelevant in Scottish politics, and UK-wide are weak and ineffective – unable to muster any form of opposition to the Tories, let alone form a Government.

“For two years now, myself and my SNP colleagues have been the real opposition at Westminster. If you want to protect Scotland’s interests, and stand up to the Tories, then the only way to do it is by voting SNP on 8th June.”

ENDS