THE SNP has selected its candidate for a possible by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

Katy Loudon, a councillor in South Lanarkshire, broke the news of her selection in a post this afternoon.

Councillor Loudon, who represents the Cambuslang East ward within the constituency, said she was delighted to be selected.

“I am delighted to be confirmed as the SNP’s candidate for the potential by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West and look forward to campaigning alongside our brilliant activists to return an SNP MP for the area," she said.

“People across the constituency deserve to have a strong MP committed to building a better future for them, their family and their community - and that is what they will get by voting for me and the SNP.

The Herald:

SNP Councillor Katy Loudon, the party's candidate for a potential by election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, pictured with First Minister Humza Yousaf. Photo SNP.

"With the limited powers at our disposal, the SNP is taking steps to improve the lives of people across Scotland and mitigate the worst of Tory rule but families are continuing to be let down by a Westminster system with two right wing, pro Brexit parties in London at its centre. 

"The SNP is the only party offering a positive vision for a fairer, greener, wealthier future and an end to damaging Tory governments for good.” 

Her statement came hours after details of a recall petition were published on the South Lanarkshire Council website.

READ MORE: Details of where to sign Rutherglen and Hamilton West recall petition

The petition will open on June 20 and close on July 31. If 10% of the electorate in the constituency sign it (8 113 voters) Ms Ferrier will be removed as the MP and a by-election called this autumn.

A by-election is being seen as a major test for First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf and for Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

For Mr Yousaf it will be his first electoral test since becoming First Minister and may take place while a police investigation continues into his party's finances.

Mr Sarwar, on the other hand, the result may reflect whether his party is able to win back voters it lost to the SNP in the aftermath of the independence referendum in 2014.

Scottish Labour has selected modern studies teacher Michael Shanks as a by-election candidate and believes it can win the constituency the party last held in 2017.

Ms Ferrier won the seat for the SNP in the 2019 general election with a 5,230 majority. She is now an independent MP after losing the SNP whip after she broke Covid rules.

READ MORE: Sarwar claims SNP fear by election and demands Ferrier resigns as MP

Earlier this week MPs voted to suspend her from the Commons for 30 days.

The sanction meant that the process for triggering a recall petition - the first to take place in Scotland - got underway.

Ms Ferrier was found guilty of culpable and reckless conduct at Glasgow Sheriff Court last August after she admitted travelling on a train in September 2020 despite knowing she had Covid. 

The MP also spoke in the House of Commons and visited a number of locations in Glasgow, including a mass in Mungo’s church and a bar in Prestwick, Ayrshire, while waiting for the results of a Covid test.

After the positive result came through, she lied to colleagues and said she had to go home to visit a sick relative. 

She was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service after pleading guilty to wilfully exposing people “to the risk of infection, illness and death”.