Councillor Natalie Don has announced her bid as a candidate for the upcoming elections for the Scottish Parliament next year.

Don, who is currently the SNP Councillor for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank, will be putting herself forward for SNP members to select her as their candidate for Renfrewshire North and West.

Announcing the news on social media, Don said she was “absolutely delighted to announce that I will be asking SNP members in Renfrewshire North and West to select me as their candidate to go forward for the Scottish Parliament election next year.”

She added: “It would be the honour of my life to represent the people of Renfrewshire North and West in our Parliament. I have lived in this constituency my entire life, this is my home and the people here deserve a candidate with an abundance of local knowledge.

“At a time when community spirit is absolutely vital as we recover from the coronavirus, we need MSP’s who understand the needs of our towns and villages and will fight to represent them.

“Renfrewshire and Inverclyde have been ignored by the UK establishment for long enough. I believe Scotland will become an independent country within the term of the next Parliament. As your MSP my focus will be on making sure the people of Renfrewshire North and West get that chance to have a choice on Scotland’s future.”

The seat is currently held by MSP Derek Mackay, who resigned from his government cabinet post after he was found to have sent inappropriate messages to a 16-year-old boy.

Mackay has never stood down as the area’s MSP although there has been pressure for him to do so. He is no longer a member of the SNP and would not receive their nomination again. There is no word on whether he would be standing against his former party as an independent.

Cllr Don is the first to declare her interest in running next year but there are expected to be other possible candidates that will go on to be put forward for nominations in an SNP members vote within the Renfrewshire North and West ward. Whomever wins the nomination vote will be selected as the party’s official candidate.

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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