Hollie Cameron was removed as a parliamentary candidate after stating a second referendum on Scottish independence could be held next year.
Glasgow University Labour Club have called for the reinstatement of Hollie Cameron as Scottish Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Glasgow Kelvin after being removed as the candidate following a statement on a second Scottish independence referendum.
Glasgow University Labour Club released a joint statement with Strathclyde University Labour Club which backed the reinstatement of Hollie Cameron as the candidate for the constituency of many of their students’ members, saying she was an “excellent candidate” selected “unanimously” by the local constituency party and is a “socialist” who matches Labour values, stating:
“Hollie Cameron is an excellent candidate who was selected unanimously by her CLP – her views were well known before she was selected. Hollie is a socialist whose values are Labour values, and to remove her because of her views on the constitution is outrageous and undemocratic; it is an example of party HQ overreach. GULC and SULC believe that Hollie Cameron is the best candidate to represent Labour in our universities’ constituencies and that the party must reverse this overreach before it’s too late.”
An open letter has also been signed by several hundred Labour members, officials, and activists to reinstate Hollie Cameron as Scottish Labour candidate for the Glasgow Kelvin constituency.
Cameron, 29, was removed from her position as candidate for May’s Scottish parliamentary elections after she made comments in an interview which contradicted Scottish Labour’s position on a second independence referendum.
The former candidate was interviewed twice by a Labour Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) panel, but failed to assure them that she would follow the party line were she to become an MSP.
Speaking to the Sunday National, Cameron stated that Labour “respected the right” of Scotland to hold a second independence referendum and that the “only quibble” within the party was over its timing.
This goes against the position of new leader of Scottish Labour, Anas Sarwar, in opposing such a vote. Sarwar said of his former candidate’s comments: “We do not have the luxury of our party pulling apart at this time, when we actually need a unified Labour Party serious about rebuilding our country.”
Interviewed on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, however, Sarwar claimed over the decision to remove Cameron as candidate that “it was a Scottish executive committee that made a decision about a candidate which is not related to her position on the constitution.”
Hollie Cameron responded to the comments with a letter to the leader on Twitter, in which she asks: “If my removal was not related to the constitution, precisely what party policy is the SEC panel concerned I would not honour under the whipping system should I be elected?”
She also added: “I feel the comment made by Anas yesterday is so unclear that it allows for questions to be raised over my personal character and suitability to be a public servant which is unfair and unacceptable to me.”
The open letter in support of Cameron, from Glasgow Kelvin constituency party, calls on the SEC to overturn the decision. It has been signed by prominent figures on the left of Labour, including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
The letter states: “During Hollie’s campaign for selection for the Glasgow Regional List and for Glasgow Kelvin constituency, her position as a 2014 Yes voter and her current views on the constitutional question were made clear. However, the focus of Hollie’s campaign was to be on a socialist coronavirus and climate recovery for Scotland.”