Councillor hopes to run for Argyll and Bute MSP role

Councillor Rhiannon Spear.

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A current Glasgow city councillor has announced she is seeking to become the MSP representing Argyll and Bute in Holyrood.

Rhiannon Spear, originally from Bute, is hoping to be selected to the seat vacated by veteran SNP politician Michael Russell.

Mr Russell, aged 67, plans to step down after 22 years in politics, ahead of next May’s elections to the Scottish Parliament.

The party will host an all-woman shortlist as the party moves to improve gender balance.

Ms Spear went to school on Bute and is the National Women’s Convenor for the SNP.

She moved to Glasgow in 2008 to study law at university. She said: ‘It’s definitely my home constituency and obviously growing up there, going to school there and having all of my family still living on the island, I truly understand the area, the challenges it faces, and the massive opportunities and potential that it holds from the people who live there and the talent the region holds.

‘It would be the honour of my life to represent the area. I’m one of those people who moved away to go to university and to have the opportunity to move home and represent Bute would be a dream for me.’

Ms Spear, aged 29, has been an SNP member since the age of 20 – long before the referendum – and was a founding member of Generation Yes in 2012, the party’s largest grassroots movement that Scotland had ever seen, she said.

She described Mr Russell as an ‘incredible representative for the area’ who would leave big shoes to fill.

Ms Spear was elected to the council in 2017 to represent Greater Pollok and also made the Glasgow list for MSP in 2016.

She also chairs Glasgow’s Social Enterprise Board and the TIE Campaign – Time for Inclusive Education.

The Scottish volunteer charity says it aims to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools with LGBT-inclusive education.

Party members across Argyll and Bute will have the ultimate say in a vote of the successful shortlisted candidates.