THE daughter of a former Tory grandee has been given a good chance of becoming a Labour MSP at the Scottish Parliament elections in May.
Primary school teacher Claudia Beamish has won the number one slot on Labour’s top-up list for the South of Scotland region, which includes East Lothian as well as the Borders, Dumfries, Galloway and Ayrshire.
If Labour fails to regain Ayr, which the Tories took from them in a by-election, the party would almost certainly qualify for a list seat, giving Ms Beamish a place in the parliament.
Ms Beamish’s father was the late Sir Tufton Beamish, Tory MP for Lewes in the south of England in the 40s and 50s, who later became Lord Chelwood.
The South of Scotland is one of the few regions where Labour has any likelihood of taking a top-up seat because it wins so many seats first past the post.
And in a bid to maintain gender balance among Labour MSPs, the party executive ruled the list there should be headed by a woman.
In the Lothians, the list is also headed by a woman, former Westminster candidate Catriona Munro, followed by parliamentary researchers Ann Henderson, Simon Tiernan, activist Collette Davie, then Sally Lee, an NHS health manager from Linlithgow, and Catherine Sutherland, from Leith, vice-chair of the party’s Scottish policy forum.