Glasgow Kelvin SNP MSP Sandra White has informed her local Constituency Association that after long consideration she will not be seeking re-election at the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election.
Ms White is a member of the 1999 group elected when the Scottish Parliament reconvened. First elected as a Glasgow Regional member, Ms White went on to win the Glasgow Kelvin seat in 2011 and retain it in 2016.
Prior to her election to Parliament Ms White was an SNP Councillor with Renfrewshire Council for 10 years.
Commenting on her decision Ms White said:
“I have been involved in frontline politics for the majority of my life, spending over three decades as an elected representative. I first became involved to fight for social justice and equality for all. I would like to hope that my contribution over these many years has delivered an improvement to people’s lives both locally and further afield.
“It has been both a privilege and the honour of my life to represent the city that I grew up in, helping to shape a better future for the people who have been Glaswegians their whole lives and for those who have chosen to make Glasgow their home.
“Having been elected to all five sessions of our Parliament, since it’s reconvening in 1999, this has given me the opportunity to sit on almost every Committee either as an ordinary member, Deputy Convener or Convener. Highlights have definitely included my election as the Convener of the Social Security Committee – this allowed me to oversee the creation of our own system, shaped to fit the needs of the people of Scotland while ensuring it had dignity and respect at its heart.
“The single greatest piece of work I directly oversaw was without doubt the Responsible Parking Bill – which was adopted by the Government in to their recent Transport Bill. This change in the law will have a direct impact in Glasgow Kelvin and across Scotland, making our streets safer for all. I would like to, once again, thank everyone involved in this process, with a special note to everyone at Guide Dogs for the Blind for the power of work they put in.
“When looking outwith my direct responsibilities in Committees or the chamber there have been several Cross Party Groups (CPG) that have been my passions over these many years. They have ranged from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Cuba, Older People Age and Ageing and of course Palestine. From founding the CPG on Older People, to now having a Minister for Older People, this is something I am immensely proud of and demonstrates the many avenues open to both MSPs but also the public in effecting change via our Parliament.
“My work in supporting the Palestinian people has been one of the most challenging aspects of my time as an MSP but it has also without doubt been one of the most rewarding. The people of Palestine are very close to my heart and their international fight for justice continues; and I can confirm this is one cause that I will not be stepping back from. Despite my departure from official politics, I will most certainly be continuing my support for the Palestinian people and other international causes where people face oppression and seek social justice – such as in Catalunya.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the unwavering support of my family and friends has been an enormous help over these many years of public service. To Mark, Christopher, Jennifer, my granddaughter Lola, and my late husband Davie, you have been my rock and I will never be able to thank you all enough. Likewise, the commitment and unstinting determination of the Glasgow Kelvin SNP activists who continually fought for my election – I may be biased but for my money they are the finest branch in Scotland and their support has been humbling.
“The Kelvin activists are an example of how politics can transcend policy platforms into lifelong friendships. Fortunately for them (or unfortunately depending how you look at it!) they haven’t got rid of me quite yet, if anything I will have more time to dedicate to local activism and the continued march towards independence!
“Lastly I would like to take the opportunity to thank my staff. While the MSP is the known face of the constituency, without the huge volume of work my staff do I would not have been able to assist a fraction of the constituents I have over the years. Those constituents who have received assistance from my office will know that my team always go above and beyond for the people of Kelvin and I will never be able to thank them sufficiently for giving so much of themselves to this job. I am very lucky to have found staff who treat this job the way I do – as a privilege and not as a ‘normal’ job. This has never been truer than during the pandemic with my team working every hour and well beyond what was expected of them for months without a break. It has been a completely unprecedented time for us all but the tidal wave of cases that they have managed to process has been staggering. I am sure that whatever they choose to do next they will excel at and I can say without hesitation that any team would be lucky to have them.
“While contributing to policies at a national level that have helped make Scotland a safer, fairer, and all round better place to live over these past 21 years, it is the assistance I have been able to offer individual constituents that will stay with me as the most satisfying aspect of my role as the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin. The people are what brought me in to this life and I would like to finish by thanking the people of Glasgow Kelvin for entrusting me with the honour of being their representative for these many years. I hope I have been worthy of this trust that has been placed in me and on my departure from office that people will remember me as a grassroots MSP who prioritised their constituency and constituents above all else. “As I mentioned, while I may be stepping back from public office I will most certainly be active in Kelvin as we continue on the road to independence and the next referendum! I look forward to helping the next Indy Ref campaign get over the line and I have no doubt that we will see independence for Scotland in my lifetime!”