Election hustings

Scotland in Union hosted its first ever election hustings in Glasgow with Anas Sarwar, Adam Tomkins and Robert Brown battling it out.


At the Glasgow Caledonian University, the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat hopefuls answered questions from the audience for 90 minutes, moderated by Scotland in Union Director Alastair Cameron.

As well as the constitution, they also took questions on the economy, education and the NHS in a fiery debate.

Despite being repeatedly offered a place on the panel, neither the SNP nor the Greens took the chance to take part.

The three panellists were:
Anas Sarwar – a former Glasgow Central MP and deputy leader of Scottish Labour who is number one on the party’s Glasgow regional list

Adam Tomkins – a professor of public Law at Glasgow University and Scotland Office adviser who is standing in Glasgow Anniesland and is top of the Scottish Conservative’s Glasgow regional list.

Robert Brown – a former education minister who served in Holyrood for 12 years and is hoping to be re-elected this time as the Liberal Democrats top regional pick in Glasgow.

All three had previously signed the Scotland in Union charter and agreed to resist another referendum in the next Scottish Parliament even if there is a vote for Brexit.

They also agreed to work together to tackle housing problems in Glasgow and set out different ideas on the funding of public services through the new tax powers - Anas Sarwar and Robert Brown both wanting to increase tax to invest in education while Adam Tomkins wanted a student contribution to help fund universities and colleges.

When asked what they would do help create build links across the UK, Professor Tomkins insisted we had to do more to devolve power to our cities instead of seeing everything as simply Scottish while Anas Sarwar called for solidarity across the UK on issues like trade union laws and Robert Brown suggested the UK and Scottish Government working together better.


Alastair Cameron said: “We are a non-party organisation and our plea to our supporters is to get out and vote for who they think is best. This was an excellent debate with three talented and articulate speakers who took time out from their busy schedule to take part and show their passion for keeping Scotland in the UK.

“As well as the constitution, we are interested in the debates about education and the NHS and we had some excellent discussions about how we use the powers Holyrood has. We hope this will be a useful guide to our supporters who have yet to decide.”

Please visit the Scotland in Union Twitter feed for a blow-by-blow account of the debate.


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