KATY Loudon is hoping to become Scotland’s next MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West after constituents voted to recall Margaret Ferrier.

The hotly contested campaign has entered its final week with voters to head to the polls on Thursday.

Loudon has said that she wants a “fairer deal” for the area and has previously said that this will not happen “with a Labour MP”.

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Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Katy Loudon?

Loudon has lived in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West Constituency for around 14 years, initially in Cambuslang and now in Rutherglen.

She started her career as a primary school teacher, a job she had for around 10 years.

In her biography on the SNP’s website, she says that she followed in the footsteps of her parents by entering education.

“I’m from a family of educators and first caught the bug when volunteering at a creche in the church hall when I was still a kid myself”, she said.

“I’ve always been driven by a passion for doing my best for our children and young people.”

When did she enter politics?

Since 2017, Loudon (below) has represented the Cambuslang East ward in South Lanarkshire and has acted as the chair of education resources for five years.

Prior to being elected, Loudon was involved with Women for Independence Rutherglen as well as the launch of a crowdfunding campaign as the issue of period poverty started being discussed.

The National:

The campaign helped provide the local foodbank with period products.

What has she said on the campaign trail?

Loudon has said that Labour have “abandoned working people” and has stressed she is a “passionate pro-European”.

In an interview with The National, she told how locals have a chance to tell Keir Starmer his party’s shift to the right “isn’t good enough” and to reject harmful policies, such as Brexit and austerity, which have been imposed by the Tories.

She has also been critical of how the Labour Party have aligned themselves with the Tories with Keir Starmer refusing to commit to scrapping the two-child cap.

One of the biggest issues in the area is school strikes, with support staff recently staging a three-day walkout over pay.

She said: “I completely understand why anybody is striking just now because we’re all in the same position, we’re all feeling the pinch from Westminster.

“We’re all worried about energy, fuel, mortgages, rent, everything else so I completely understand.”

She said she would always stand up “for more local government funding” and neither Labour nor the Tories were “prepared to say where the money should come from”.

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“The reality is the money needs to come from the Scottish Government having full levers of power financially to be able to create a thriving, happier, fairer, greener, wealthier society”, Loudon added.

In terms of other policies, Loudon has also said she would press Westminster to reinstate a £400 energy bill rebate to help struggling families over the winter period.

What has she said about independence?

Speaking to The National about independence, Loudon voiced her frustration at Scotland’s lack of “freedom” to implement the policies which would improve the lives of those in the local area.

She said: “There’s so much potential, there’s so much opportunity, but people aren’t being given a free crack of the whip at the moment.

“That’s why we need independence, it’s not only that I love this constituency because it’s my wee bit of Scotland, and it’s home.

“I know how great it is, I know how great it could be if folk had that extra bit of help, and we need independence to do that.

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“We’re not going to get that with pro-Brexit, pro-austerity Labour or the Tories, we need away from the lot of them.”

Dealing with misogyny

Elsewhere, Loudon also spoke about dealing with misogyny on the campaign trail, explaining that it has “not been easy”.

“It’s hard being a woman in the public eye. I’m sure Michael [Shanks] or Thomas [Kerr] or any of the rest of them haven’t had comments about their lipstick on Twitter”, Loudon said.

“They’ve not had misogyny whipped up, a photo from a bad angle, questions about their height or how far they were sitting behind the First Minister.”

She also added that one journalist had probed her on how she would manage her children if she wins the seat in Westminster despite explaining that she’s not the only candidate who has children.