Peterhead disability campaigner stands for election against frontbench MPs for equality role

Jamie Szymkowiak
Jamie Szymkowiak

A disability rights campaigner working in Peterhead has been nominated by his local SNP branch to stand as an equal rights officer.

Jamie Szymkowiak will stand for election as the SNP’s National Women’s and Equalities Officer against two frontbench MPs Angela Crawley and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

Mr Szymkowiak said: “I was nervous about announcing my nomination, given the importance of improving women’s representation- but the rights and representation of disabled people is equally as important.

“Despite our recent electoral successes, Inclusion Scotland is not aware of any SNP parliamentarians who openly self-define as disabled.”

Mr Szymkowiak is the founder if the national cross-party campaign One in Five which was set up 18 months ago to encourage political participation among disabled people in Scotland.

He also established the SNP’s disabled members group and organized the party’s first ever disabled members conference.

One-hundred-and-seventy disabled SNP members attended the conference in Glasgow earlier this year and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, was the key-note speaker.

Mr Szymkowiak said: “I know I’m the underdog in this election but even if my nomination puts the representation of disabled people on the agenda, I’ll be a happy nominee.

“Who knows, it may even lead to the creation of a ‘National Disability Officer’ position at the top table of our Party’s structure.”