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Kaukab Stewart becomes first woman of colour to be elected to serve as MSP

The SNP candidate held off a challenge from Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie in Glasgow Kelvin.

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Nicola Sturgeon, with Kaukab Stewart in Queen’s Park, Glasgow during the campaign (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Nicola Sturgeon, with Kaukab Stewart in Queen’s Park, Glasgow during the campaign (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Nicola Sturgeon, with Kaukab Stewart in Queen’s Park, Glasgow during the campaign (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Kaukab Stewart will become the first woman of colour to serve as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament after she held the Glasgow Kelvin constituency for the SNP.

Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie finished second with 9,077 votes, 5,458 behind Ms Stewart on 14,535.

In her acceptance speech, Ms Stewart said: “It is without doubt an honour to be elected as the first woman of colour to the Scottish Parliament.

“It has taken too long, but to all the women and girls of colour out there: the Scottish Parliament belongs to you too, so whilst I may be the first, I will not be the last.”

Ms Stewart, a teacher, first ran for parliament in 1999 against Scotland’s first leader Donald Dewar.

She later told the BBC: “I must admit in 1999 when I stood at that time I didn’t think that it would be me that would be the first woman of colour to actually get elected in 2021 but it is.

“You know, you have to keep going, keep persevering, keep working hard, and we’ve got there in the end.”

Nicola Sturgeon applauded Ms Stewart as she arrived at the count to congratulate her new parliamentary colleague.

“I have never wanted to hug someone so much in my life,” the First Minister said, adding she was “thrilled beyond words” at the result.

“It has taken us far to long, more than 20 years, but today she becomes the first woman of colour to be elected to our national parliament,” she said.

“Party politics aside this a really special and a very significant moment for Scotland and I could not be prouder right now.”

Scottish Labour picked up 8,605 votes in the constituency, the Scottish Conservatives 2,850 and the Scottish Liberal Democrats 977.

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