Better Together chief Blair McDougall to stand for election

Blair McDougall, the former director of Better Together, is bidding to become a Labour MP. Picture Jane Barlow/TSPL
Blair McDougall, the former director of Better Together, is bidding to become a Labour MP. Picture Jane Barlow/TSPL
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The former campaign director of Better Together is to stand as a Labour candidate in the forthcoming General Election, the party has confirmed.

Blair McDougall, who oversaw the successful pro-Union campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, will contest the East Renfrewshire constituency on June 8.

The seat was previously held by Jim Murphy, another prominent Labour member in Better Together, but was won by Kirsten Oswald of the SNP in 2015.

The constituency, which borders the south-west of Glasgow, is one of the most affluent in the country. Until Murphy’s election victory in 1997 the area was considered one of the few remaining Tory strongholds in the west of Scotland.

“It’s ridiculous that one of the most pro Union constituencies in the country is represented by an SNP MP,” McDougall said.

“That’s because last time the votes of the majority were split.

“In East Renfrewshire the Tories are a distant third and are not at the races here.

“I brought together the anti-independence majority in 2014 and I’m going to do the same on June 8.”

McDougall previously worked as a Labour special advisor. He oversaw David Miliband’s unsuccessful campaign for the party leadership in 2010.

READ MORE: SNP on wrong end of its own angry populism, says Blair McDougall