An Erskine teacher is Scotland's newest MP after winning the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Michael Shanks, who teaches modern studies at Park Mains High School, won more than 50% of the vote for Labour on Thursday.

In a significant 20 per cent swing, the 35-year-old received 17,845 votes, giving him a majority of 9,446 over the SNP, who received 8,399. 

Mr Shanks will take over the seat from Margaret Ferrier, who was ousted by voters over breaching Covid rules.

The Gazette:

He said that as Rutherglen and Hamilton West's new MP, he would give the area a "fresh start" and the "fresh voice" it needs. 

Mr Shanks unsuccessfully stood for election at a variety of levels on three occasions before quitting the Labour Party on the day of the 2019 general election in protest at the party's stance on Brexit.

However, he rejoined Labour when Keir Starmer became leader of the party in 2020.

Born in Ayrshire, Mr Shanks has a degree in history and politics from the University of Glasgow, and trained as a teacher in his late 20s. 

A group scout leader, he has also worked in the third sector and runs the charity for young people with complex disabilities.

The Gazette:

We previously reported in January 2022 how the avid jogger successfully completed a challenge to run every street in Glasgow. 

Mr Shanks racked up almost 1,500 miles (2,325km) in his journey across the city's 6,143 streets, which started as simply lockdown exercise. 

He said at the time: "I started exploring my own neighbourhood a bit more, just running round streets I hadn’t been on before.

"Then I discovered an athlete in America, Rickey Gates, who had run every single street in San Francisco and he'd mapped it out and ticked them off and I thought that sounded like a good adventure."