Rosa hits out at sexism in the council as she announces she won’t stand in May

Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini
Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini

Wishaw councillor Rosa Zambonini blamed other councillors for making her a ‘laughing stock’ as she announced she will not be standing for reelection in May’s election.

Councillor Zambonini joined North Lanarkshire Council in 2015 by-election after Marion Fellows was elected MP for Motherwell and Wishaw.

Last month she passed the SNP’s internal vetting procedure to be considered as a candidate, but has now decided to walk away.

In a statement released on Facebook the mother-of-two claims her short time at Motherwell Civic Centre was ‘horrific’ and blighted by sexism.

Councillor Zambonini said: “When I took on the by-election in 2015 I believed with all my heart that a single mum from a scheme could be anything she wanted to be.

“I still do, however, we have a long way to go when it comes to being a woman in politics.

“When I tried to take on major issues I was told there was a smear campaign put out by the Labour councillors based mostly around the fact I’m a woman.

“Stories which I would not share because they were clever and fly with it, and they would cause too much upset to my family.

The comments made about me weren’t just by men, but by women too.

“Independent councillors leaked information and tried to belittle me using the council’s own e-mail systems.”

Councillor Zambonini is scheduled to appear before the Standards Commission on April 6, after being accused of failing disclose in the register of members’ interests that she was working for Cathcart MSP James Dornan.

She took the opportunity to go on the attack against the person who reported her.

Councillor Zambonini said: “Busy mum forgets to do something eh? Big news!

“However there is a man who caused me nothing but stress, anxiety and fear. Someone who would use anything to try and scare me off.

“To him I would say this — I will not now or ever be scared of you. I will always stand up for what I believe to be good and right.

“To the opposition councillors who bitched and moaned about me, who went to fundraisers and made me a laughing stock.

“The men who made jokes about how I looked or who would use that to make themselves look bigger.

“I know who you were and only you will know if that’s ‘just politics’ or indeed an attack on a woman who is just trying to do her best.

“You will know if your smearing and plotting is right, good or indeed what the people of Lanarkshire want ... or maybe, just maybe, that’s why your party is at its lowest level in opinion polls than most people care to remember.

“To those in the opposition party who were kind to me, worked with me and showed me compassion — thank you.”

Councillor Zambonini vowed she would return to politics one day.

She said: “To my fellow SNP councillors and branch members who supported me, taught me and who laughed with me. Who have understood when I’ve made mistakes. I cannot thank you enough. I’m sorry if I’m letting you down, but I promise this is not forever.

“I’m aware this sounds very ‘woe is me’ but I felt like I had to be honest. It’s time women in politics were. “One thing I have loved more than anything is serving this town, I have loved helping people in the toughest of times and most of all I have loved bringing a little bit of equality to our part of the world.

“I will be active still. There will be more projects and I will fight for it. Just from the outside, at least for a while.

“I have to put my family first for a while. Two beautiful girls who need me and need my time, time which has been broken by some horrific ‘politics’.

“However, I absolutely will be back.”