Credit: University of Glasgow

Rector candidates lose bid for SNP candidacy for 2021 Scottish parliamentary election

By Ross McCool

Junaid Ashraf and Graham Campbell both lost their bids for the candidacy in Glasgow Cathcart and Edinburgh Western respectively.

Scottish National Party councillors (SNP) and candidates for Rector Junaid Ashraf and Graham Campbell have lost their bid to be selected by the SNP for the Glasgow Cathcart and Edinburgh Western seats respectively in next year’s Scottish parliamentary election.

This comes after both stated their intention to stand. Mr Ashraf attempted to go against SNP incumbent James Dornan. Dornan has held the Glasgow Cathcart seat since 2011, after taking it from the Scottish Labour Party. 

Mr Ashraf has represented Cumbernauld South in North Lanarkshire council since 2017, gaining attention after assisting a motion in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, being one of the first to occur within the United Kingdom at a local level. Ashraf continues to campaign for Rector in support of arms and fossil fuel divestment campaigns across campus.

Instead of Mr Campbell, Sarah Masson has been chosen to run in Edinburgh Western. Campbell’s hopes to de-seat Scottish Liberal Democrats member Alex Cole-Hamilton, who has held the seat since 2016, has been cut short. 

Mr Campbell has represented Springburn and Robroyston in Glasgow city council since 2017. He has campaigned for Rector on having a greener and more ethically conscious campus, with a focus on the University’s historical connection with slave traders. He gained public attention after starring in acclaimed documentary Slavery: Scotland’s Shame. The documentary followed both Campbell and documentary creator, actor, and director David Hayman as they travelled around Jamaica, noting the history and continued impact that Scottish based slavery has on the Caribbean nation. 

As a result, Campbell has been seen as Scottish media’s “go-to” voice on race issues, having appeared in numerous radio and television interviews discussing race matters within Scotland, particularly after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the murder of George Floyd. Despite Campbell failing in this attempt, Campbell is already shaking up the SNP by becoming the party’s first-ever national convenor for Black, Asian, and ethnic minority members. 

The Scottish parliamentary election is scheduled to take place on Thursday 6 May next year. You can find out more about who is eligible to vote in the election here.


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James Gardiner

What a rubbish report. Both men are No.1 on their respective Lists so should be guranteed a seat.