Page last updated at 01:24 GMT, Sunday, 20 December 2009

Jamieson to seek support for Westminster bid

Cathy Jamieson
Cathy Jamieson has served in two Scottish government cabinet posts

Labour MSP Cathy Jamieson has said she will bid for the Westminster seat being vacated by former defence secretary Des Browne at the next general election.

Ms Jamieson, a former justice minister at Holyrood, is to seek her party's nomination for the Kilmarnock and Loudoun seat in the House of Commons.

The MSP was born and brought up in the town and already represents part of the area in the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP said Ms Jamieson's announcement suggested Labour was "running scared".

Ms Jamieson said: "Kilmarnock and Loudoun needs a strong Labour voice in Westminster, standing up for local people and fighting their corner.

"I want to be that voice, making the case for jobs and a fair share of investment to help our local economy."

She said a number of local people had asked her to stand following Mr Browne's announcement last month that he would not be seeking re-election.

Des Browne
Des Browne was formerly Defence Secretary and Scottish Secretary

He was elected as the MP for the area in 1997.

Ms Jamieson will have to go through a full selection process, and local Labour members will ultimately decide who they want to represent the party when the country goes to the polls.

She said: "I live in the constituency, and I hear what matters to people when I am out and about locally.

"My record in the Scottish Parliament shows that I would work tirelessly on local issues and helping constituents with problems, as well as playing a major role in parliament.

"I believe I have the energy, enthusiasm and experience to win the seat for Labour and be an effective representative for every part of Kilmarnock and Loudoun.

"That's why I am putting myself forward for the selection contest."

'Begs questions'

Ms Jamieson has served in two Scottish government cabinet posts and was deputy leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament from 2001 until last year.

If successful in her bid to get to Westminster, Ms Jamieson said she would continue to represent her constituents at Holyrood until the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.

SNP MP Stewart Hosie said: "We are taking nothing for granted in Kilmarnock and Loudon but under Iain Gray and Jim Murphy Labour in Scotland is now looking like it is devoid of any fresh talent for Westminster.

"That an MSP opts to try and stand for Westminster begs questions of how unhappy the crew must be in Iain Gray's Holyrood ship.

"Cathy Jamieson was demoted from her health position and this has all the hallmarks of another Labour MSP voting with their feet against Iain Gray's Holyrood leadership."

Print Sponsor

Des Browne to leave the Commons
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