Who is Michael Shanks: Here's everything you need to know about Labour's latest Scottish MP

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election has seen a Labour MP elected in a result described as "siesmic" by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Michael Shanks with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.Michael Shanks with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.
Michael Shanks with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

The Labour candidate Michael Shanks took the Westminster seat with 17,845 votes - a majority of 9,446 representing a 20.4 per cent swing from the SNP to Labour.

Here's everything you need to know about the new MP and how he got elected.

Why was there a by-election?

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The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election was called due to the former SNP MP, Margaret Ferrier, being ousted. Almost 12,000 of her constituents signed a recall petition. Ferrier broke Covid rules when she travelled to London and spoke in the Commons while awaiting the result of a Covid test. She then got a train home after testing positive for the virus. She was arrested and charged with culpable and reckless conduct in January 2021. She pled guilty and was sentences to 270 hours of community service.

How long has Michael Shanks been involved in politics?

Shanks has unsuccessfully stood for election several times before. He was a Labour candidate for Glasgow City Council in 2012 in the Partick West ward, then contested the Glasgow Kelvin constituency in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, coming third. He also stood in the Glasgow North West constituency at the 2017 general election, when he came second to the SNP. He resigned from the party in 2019 but rejoined after Sir Keir Starmer became leader. He was selected to contest the Rutherglen and Hamilton West in May.

What is Michael Shank's background?

Born in Ayrshire, Shanks attended the University of Glasgow where he graduated with a degree in history and politics. He worked for a charity before retraining as a teacher with a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), again from Glasgow University. Before his election he taught modern studies at Park Mains High School in Erskine. He is also involved in community and charity work and runs a scout group for disabled children.

What else is Michael Shanks known for?

Shanks previously enjoyed a degree of fame after appearing in the national news in January 2022 for running all of Glasgow's 6,143 streets. He started the challenge during lockdown in March 2020 and completed it in January 2022 when he ran George Square in the city centre. He's planning to write a book which will use his runs - and the people he met - to shine a light on Glasgow's social history.

What were the full result of the by-election?

The total votes cast were as follows:

Labour Co-op, Michael Shanks:17,845

SNP, Katy Loudon: 8,399

Conservative, Thomas Kerr: 1,192

Liberal Democrats, Gloria Adebo: 895

Scottish Green: Cameron Eadie: 601

Reform UK, David Stark: 403

Scottish Family, Niall Fraser: 319

Scottish Socialist, Bill Bonnar: 271

ISP, Colette Walker: 207

TUSC, Christopher Sermanni: 178

Independent, Andrew Daly: 81

Volt UK, Ewan Hoyle: 46

Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India: 34

Garry Cooke: 6

What has Sir Keir Starmer said about the result?

After calling it a "seismic" night and saying that Rutherglen and Hamilton West had sent "a clear message", Sir Kier added: "I have always said that winning back the trust of people in Scotland is essential. Tonight's victory is the culmination of three-and-a-half years of hard work and humility on that journey."

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