THE recall petition in Rutherglen and Hamilton West has been successful allowing for a Westminster by-election to go ahead, it has been confirmed. 

Former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier was suspended from the House of Commons after breaking Covid-19 rules.

And now, over 10% of the electorate in her Westminster seat have voted to remove her as MP, triggering a by-election that will be hotly contested by the SNP and Labour

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The local authority confirmed that more than 11,000 voters (14.6%) signed the petition to remove Ferrier as an MP.

Ferrier had been sitting as an independent in the House of Commons after being suspended from the SNP. 

The SNP's candidate Katy Loudon, a local councillor, tweeted that it was time for the "hard work to begin", while the First Minister said the party will work hard to "earn and re-earn" voters' trust in the area. 

The National: SNP candidate Katy Loudon with FM Humza YousafSNP candidate Katy Loudon with FM Humza Yousaf (Image: PA)

Scotland will now see its first recall by-election following the announcement. 

South Lanarkshire Council tweeted: "Result of the petition to remove Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier.

"Petition successful. Total electorate 81,123.

"Number of electors who validly signed the petition 11,896. Percentage of electors who validly signed the petition 14.66%.

"37 returns were rejected."

The First Minister said that Loudon is the "strong voice of progress" for voters in the area. 

“Every Labour candidate standing in Scotland - including here in Rutherglen and Hamilton West - does so on a regressive platform of maintaining among the very worst of Tory policies," he added.

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“Keir Starmer has made a political choice to keep children and working families in poverty. 

“At every stage of this campaign, the SNP will promote the interests and needs of all the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West. By contrast, Labour in Scotland is a mere branch office, doing the bidding of their bosses at Westminster.

“Katy Loudon is the strong voice of progress for the constituents of Rutherglen and Hamilton West.”

Cambuslang East councillor Loudon tweeted after the results were published: "With a Westminster-made cost of living crisis continuing to hammer households across Scotland, the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West deserve an MP who will do everything they can to help them through these tough times.

The National: The SNP's candidate is a local councillorThe SNP's candidate is a local councillor (Image: SNP)

"That is why, unlike my opponents, I will oppose any policy that pushes children into poverty, such as the two-child benefit cap and bedroom tax.

"Keir Starmer’s U-turning to back Tory policy underlines that Labour in Scotland are just a branch office of Westminster.

"If elected as a new SNP MP, I will only answer to the people of this constituency and Scotland - and continue to stand up for a fairer society.

"I look forward to discussing with voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West that only the SNP are offering real change through independence - which would rid Scotland of Westminster control and Tory governments we don’t want for good; enabling us to build a fairer, more prosperous country for all."

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Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, said: “The people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West have made their voices heard and demanded change.

“For far too long the area has been failed – let down by two incompetent governments and left voiceless in Parliament by their rule-breaking MP.

“This cannot go on a day longer than it needs to – the SNP must call a by-election at the very first opportunity so Rutherglen and Hamilton West can get the representation it deserves as soon as possible. 

“Scottish Labour’s candidate Michael Shanks is ready to hit the ground running and be the local champion his home constituency deserves.

“It’s time for a fresh start in Rutherglen and Hamilton West and Scottish Labour can deliver it.”

The National: Baillie with by-election candidate Michael ShanksBaillie with by-election candidate Michael Shanks (Image: NQ)

Meanwhile, Alba leader Alex Salmond called for a single pro-independence candidate to stand in the election, and voiced his support for Ferrier.

He said: “In that way there would be a fresh start for an independence campaign in this constituency and a by-election fought on the future of Scotland, not on the track record of the SNP administration.

“Humza needs to act now to avoid a human mistake from Margaret Ferrier becoming a serious set-back for the entire national movement.

"The ball is in his court, should this election be fought with one candidate representing the independence movement or will he choose to put party before country?“

It comes as the Scottish Conservatives confirmed that their candidate for the ballot will be Glasgow council group leader Thomas Kerr. 

Meghan Gallagher, the Scottish Tories deputy leader, said: “Margaret Ferrier’s constituents have delivered a very clear verdict on her reckless and selfish actions at the height of the pandemic.

“Of course, this by-election would have happened a lot sooner if she had done the right thing and resigned as an MP straight away. Instead, she brazenly stuck it out to the bitter end, which was a total insult to her constituents who made huge sacrifices during Covid.

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“I am looking forward to campaigning with our superb candidate, Thomas Kerr, and speaking to voters in this constituency about their real priorities.

“The SNP are engulfed in chaos and continue to relentlessly pursue independence, rather than tackling issues that really matter, while Anas Sarwar’s Scottish Labour party are too weak to stand up to them on an overwhelming number of issues."

The date of the ballot is still to be determined.

Ferrier was suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days in June, after having travelled from London to Scotland after testing positive for Covid in September 2020.