By Bill Heaney

The new prospective candidate for the Labour Party in West Dunbartonshire in the upcoming General Election is Provost Douglas McAllister.

Well known in the community, Douglas, pictured right,  is a solicitor who has stayed in Dunbartonshire all his life – his father was the late Jack McAllister, who was also a Labour politician who was Provost of Clydebank before local government boundaries were re-organised here.

Douglas, who represents Old Kilpatrick on the Council is a member of the Labour group which beat the SNP to form the administration at the council elections just over a year ago.

He is likely to be a far more popular candidate than Jean Ann Mitchell, who had little political experience, and was soundly defeated by Martin Docherty-Hughes of the SNP, whose majority was a substantial 9,000.

Party results and changes 2017 – 2019

Results for each party with number of votes, percentage share of the vote and changes since last election.

Candidate Party Votes Vote (%) Change (%)
Martin Docherty-Hughes  SNP 22,396 49.6 6.8
Jean Mitchell  Lab 12,843 28.5 -9.2
Alix Mathieson  Con 6,436 14.3 -2.9
Jennifer Lang * LibDem 1,890 4.2 1.9
Peter Connolly * Green 867 1.9 1.9
Andrew Muir * Ind 708 1.6 1.6

Provost McAllister said: “I have been a local person all my life representing local people as a councillor for the past 20 years.

“The area needs a Scottish Labour MP who will work to rebuild our NHS and provide the help people need during the current cost of living crisis.”

Douglas will have Martin Docherty-Hughes of the SNP as an opponent although there has been no formal announcement from the party that he will be standing.

There are currently seven SNP MPs who have announced that they have no intention of standing following the resignation of the former First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the expenses cash scandal which have beset that party which is ravaged by in-fighting.

A General Election is not expected to take place until next year but that could change at any time as the Conservatives and the SNP appear to be forever fighting amongst themselves over both policy and personalities.

Humza Yousaf, the new SNP First Minister, has just had a nightmare first 100 days in office and has been criticised mercilessly for the state of the NHS in Scotland which never had it so bad.

Big problems for the SNP government such as Accident and Emergency waiting times, mounting numbers of people waiting for hospital appointments, the dirty water, contamination and construction defects scandal at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital are making their position untenable. .

“Even the massive overspend on ferries being built on the Firth of Clyde have seen the SNP hemorrhaging support.”

Anas Sarwar, the Labour leader in Scotland, told local people this week: “At the next General Election, there will be a clear choice between a Labour Government led by Keir Starmer or another five years of Tory incompetence.

“The Conservatives have nothing to offer. They have wrecked the country and crashed the economy. The SNP lack the energy and vision to stand up for Scotland – and they can’t get the Tories out of office.

“Only Labour can deliver the change that Scotland needs.  Labhour will take action on the cost of living crisis including a publicly-owned energy company to cut your gas and electricity bills.

“We will transform the economy and create jobs and opportunities for the future, unlocking Scotland’s potential.”

Top picture: Provost Douglas McAllister with special needs children and their teachers on a visit to Dumbarton Castle. Picture by Bill Heaney

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