The Renfrewshire Green party claim that the Conservatives campaign for the local elections is being “run from Tory HQ” after it emerged that the candidate for Renfrew North and Braehead was nominated without being informed by the party.
Jane Strang, Conservative candidate for Renfrew North and Braehead, revealed on Facebook that she had no idea she had been selected as candidate for the area until she saw her mother’s postal ballot paper.
Writing on the Renfrew Unionists Facebook group, she said: “I was off ill for a very long time and did not know I was being put forward.
“Only found out from my mother receiving a postal vote.”
Nath Rosset, Green candidate for Renfrew North and Braehead, said: “It is good to see women getting involved in local politics, no matter where their political allegiances lie. However, as in all other matters regarding their lives, it is wrong that women should be made to stand for election without their knowledge, as has happened here.
“This mess indicates the complete contempt in which the Conservatives hold voters in our ward. They deserve strong, committed local candidates who are keen to make a difference to the area. Not a campaign run centrally from Tory HQ.”
One of the SNP candidate from the same ward as Jane Strang, Lisa-Marie Hughes questions the legitimacy of the Conservative candidate remaining on the ballot paper and believes the Returning Officer should investigate.
She said: “Despite it being a legal requirement for candidates to personally sign the nomination forms, this is the second Tory candidate in Scotland who says that they were nominated without their knowledge.
“The people of Renfrew North and Braehead deserve to choose from a selection of candidates who have fully considered the responsibility that comes with the role, and have gone through due process to be a candidate. There is a question here regarding the legitimacy of the Conservative candidate remaining on the ballot paper and I hope that the Returning Officer investigates this thoroughly.”
A spokesman for the Conservatives said: “Jane applied to become a candidate last year, and passed the vetting process at Christmas. She subsequently signed the appropriate nomination forms – as every council candidate has to – and officially became the candidate for that seat.”
Emma McShane, Green candidate for Paisley Southeast, said: “We all know that the Tories are already looking past the council elections in May, but how can voters really trust that any of the Tory candidates in Renfrewshire, and across Scotland, would make suitable councillors who will stand up for their constituents and not slash public services at the command of their party’s HQ?”
Sarah Anderson, Green candidate for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, said: “Tory candidates cannot be trusted to deliver for the people of Renfrewshire when they are openly admitting to being unaware of their own selection. While they harp on about referendums, Green candidates will be strong voices for maintaining vital local services, connecting our communities and creating affordable homes in our communities.”