McMahon shrugs off leader’s radio gaffe

Michael McMahon is the Labour candidate for Uddingston and Bellshill
Michael McMahon is the Labour candidate for Uddingston and Bellshill

Michael McMahon described the SNP as “pathetic” for trying to make political capital out of Labour leader Kezia Dugdale forgetting his name.

On Radio Scotland yesterday (Wednesday) presenter Gary Robertson asked Ms Dugdale why the Labour website failed to list candidates for three constituencies, Uddingston and Bellshill, Banffshire and Buchan Coast, and Perthshire North.

Ms Dugdale admitted she didn’t know and then couldn’t remember the names of the three candidates including Mr McMahon who is standing in Uddingston and Bellshill and has been an MSP for 17 years.

His SNP rival for the seat Richard Lyle was quick to jump on the slip up accusing Mr McMahon of failing to make an impression during his time in Holyrood.

He said: “The fact that Kezia Dugdale couldn’t remember the name of a candidate who has been a Labour MSP since 1999 probably says as much about Michael McMahon as it does Kezia Dugdale.

“Despite having been an MSP since the very start of the Scottish Parliament, Michael McMahon has clearly done absolutely nothing of note.

“Not only did his leader not know who he was, but Labour HQ didn’t even think him worth mentioning on their website.

“The fact that Kezia Dugdale can’t remember the names of her constituency candidates also demonstrates that Labour aren’t even trying to win constituencies any more, preferring to focus on the list votes.

“And if Labour aren’t taking the contest seriously, why should the people of Scotland take them seriously?”

The missing three candidates, Mr McMahon, Nathan Morrison (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) and Anna McEwan (Perthshire North) were quickly added to the Labour website.

Mr McMahon wasn’t concerned that Ms Dugdale had forgotten his name and seized the opportunity to hit back at the SNP for their own internal problems.

He said: “I didn’t hear the show and I really don’t care, Labour has 73 constituency candidates so if at that moment Kezia forgot I am the one for Uddingston and Bellshill then it doesn’t bother me.

“The fact the SNP think it is a story is truly pathetic and are just trying to deflect away from the what is happening within their own house locally.

“We have a situation where we have candidate in Richard Lyle that many of his own party members won’t work to try to get him elected such is the split in the constituency party.

“When there have been stories published about bullying, corruption, financial mismanagement and other alleged misbehaviour within the SNP locally Labour has said absolutely nothing.

“However, maybe the fact the SNP in Uddingston and Bellshill are tearing themselves apart and they’re more interested in Kezia forgetting my name in a radio interview is something for the voters to consider?”

Andrew Morrison, who is standing for the Conservatives in Uddingston and Bellshill, called on his opponents to concentrate of the issues.

He said: “This kind of argument is no use to anyone and diverts away from the issues, people just want to hear who will represent them best in the Scottish Parliament, they aren’t concerned with candidates backbiting each other.”