The Herald caught up with Euan Stainbank just days before the poll. He has now become Labour's youngest Scottish MP.

He spoke to Iona Brownlie about his hopes.

Age is just a number in the grand scheme of things.

And does that number really make someone more qualified than someone else – even in the world of politics.

Euan Stainbank has spent the last two years in the bull pen of local government as a councillor for Falkirk South and now he’s on a mission to take on Westminster.

He first stepped into front line politics at the local elections back in 2022 just a year after graduating with a degree in LLB in Scots Law from the University of Stirling and became the youngest councillor in the council.

Born and bred in Falkirk, the 24-year-old is now Scottish Labour’s youngest candidate to stand for a seat in the Commons and he’s not too worried about inexperience.

Sitting in Finnegan’s café in the town centre the councillor said: “I appreciate people’s concerns [about inexperience], but I’ve actually packed a lot into a short time, and I’ve actually represented and helped people.

“My experience since I became an adult, which I will admit I’ve got a shorter time than others in politics, has been productively used. I don’t think I’d be running for this unless I had the experience [as a councillor], it is absolutely essential.

Out on the campaign trail.Out on the campaign trail. (Image: Euan Stainbank)

“I think I’ve got an intimate experience of issues currently facing a lot of our communities and I think only with a UK Labour government that’s going to bring growth… can we get going in the right direction again.”

For the last two years, he’s worked “fighting the very worst of cuts” he says have disproportionately affected local governments.

He’s been involved in campaigns to save some of Falkirk’s school swimming pools, active talks to reject a shorter school week, and become a ‘Children and Young Person’s Champion’ which has strengthened his commitment to representing and fighting for his age group.

But he admits the apathy among voters particularly younger voters is severely concerning.

Euan said: “When I came into the council I said to colleagues cross party that we can gage our success in serving young people by looking at the turnout of how they vote. It’s disappointing.

“I think a huge part of the apathy is we need to start making it relevant to everyone in society why they need to vote. In fairness I would say there is apathy across generations and there is a huge part of combatting that which is going to be huge after this election.”

Having gotten a taste during his council tenure, his focus is firmly on the road to Westminster to further his people’s cause.


He said: “The role of a councillor is to recognise the impact of your decision and make sure you have as much information before you make some pretty tough decisions in front of you in the best possible and most balanced way. And the way that we’ve done that is to try and resist cuts that don’t make sense and are going to have a larger social impact than the money they’re going to save for the council.

“I see it as a real motivating mission to stand for parliament to give the people of Falkirk their voice around these local issues and actually get into a UK Government that I believe is going to fix quite a lot of those issues.

“As a local person this is the only seat I think I’d be qualified to stand for because this where I’ve spent the vast majority of my life.

“It’s the place I’ve got the greatest affinity to, it’s the place I live currently, it’s the place I represent, I think I could do a fantastic job and I’ve got the experience from two years in the council to be a member of parliament.”

Euan believes his time at the University of Stirling has also helped to shape his focus on the issues that matter.

Having been the co-founder of the Stirling Students Tenants Association, Mr Stainbank was instrumental in helping international students with accommodation issues during the pandemic. And he says his time as president of the university’s Law Society gave him the leadership experience to helping to get things working and working quickly.

Housing issues run personal for him having purchased his own home when mortgages spiralled during the mini budget of Liz Truss.

He says he is confident a Labour government plan will help curb the housing crisis particularly for younger people.

“In the more structural and legislative changes Labour are bringing in, I am the most confident on that plan because it is focused on the material things that will help better development, a great degree of investment in social housing.

“We’ve seen the Scottish Government cut money from their housing budget despite the housing crises that are emerging across the country.

“When it comes to young people the hope we give is that we will try to keep mortgages as low and as stable as possible.

“We’re absolutely committed to serving younger generations and reversing the back trends.

And he hopes his own personal experience working in local hospitality will help when it comes to the economy.

Labour has committed to ending zero-hour contracts, fire and rehire policies and bringing around a real living wage in line with the cost of living.

(Image: Euan Stainbank)

“My number one priority when I get into office is making sure we are delivering and making sure the people of Falkirk are seeing the benefit of an economy that’s back on an even keel.

“Because that is the first place you start when you’re trying to increase incomes and give people more autonomy over their lives.

“Quite frankly if someone doesn’t have a good job or a stable income they will not be able to access services, they can’t spend in the local area and they won’t be able to get ahead.”

With his time as a councillor under his belt, Euan remains focussed on representing the people of Falkirk and the dreams of bringing around change – just from a different bench.

The born-and-bred Falkirk bairn believes now is the time and he is the man for the job.

“The reason people can trust me is that I have been consistent on what we are setting out and what we envisage the future of Falkirk.”

The other candidates running for the Falkirk seat on July 4th are:

  • Zohaib Arshad – Alba
  • Keith Barrow – Reform UK
  • James Bundy – Conservatives
  • Toni Giugliano – SNP
  • Rachel Kidd – Scottish Greens
  • Tim McKay – Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Mark Tunnicliff – Independent