DEALING with misogyny during the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election campaign has “not been easy”, the SNP’s candidate has said, as the contest heads into the final days.

Katy Loudon, a councillor in South Lanarkshire, told The National comments on social media tend to have a “nasty edge” since she embarked on the campaign to become Scotland’s next MP.

Sadly, Loudon said she was “not surprised” by the comments as she has put up with plenty of misogyny in her role as a councillor for Cambuslang East since 2017.

READ MORE: Rangers investigate after flag with Nazi hate symbol seen at Ibrox

Speaking to the Sunday National ahead of polling day on October 5, we told how Loudon urged voters to back her and “send a message” to Westminster.

It comes as Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said that an SNP win would send “shockwaves” through the Westminster establishment.

“It’s hard being a woman in the public eye, it is,” Loudon said, reflecting on the increased media attention the by-election campaign had brought on her.

“I’m sure Michael [Shanks, Labour] or Thomas [Kerr, Tory] or any of the rest of them haven’t had comments about their lipstick on Twitter. They’ve not had misogyny whipped up, a photo from a bad angle, questions about their height or how far they were sitting behind the First Minister.”

The National: Humza Yousaf and Katy Loudon at the SNP's by-election campaign launch

Loudon (above) added that one journalist had probed her on how she would manage with her children if she wins the Westminster seat.

“I’m not the only candidate that’s got children,” she said.

“She very quickly backtracked and said she would ask the same of a male candidate - no she wouldn’t.

“I’m not surprised because I’ve been in council since 2017. I’ve put up with misogyny, I’ve been talked down to, and my reaction to that is well, I know why I got into politics, I want to make a difference to people, I’ve put forward policies that have been through a feminist lens and I’m proud of that.”

READ MORE: Robin McAlpine: I have a plan that WILL win independence in 10 years

Loudon pointed to her decision to set up Women for Independence Rutherglen with her friends following the independence referendum in 2014. The group was created to spread the message about independence, she said, but added that it was also about “practical actions” and pushing for policies that would benefit women in the local area.

“It was about period poverty before that was a thing, we were raising money, sweeping all the period products off the shelves and getting that support into the foodbanks,” she said.

“In council I’ve spoken about the menopause, I’ve spoken about issues that are taboo, I’ve spoken at national conference about menopause and the hot flushes and I’m proud of that work and I’m proud of that record.

“It’s not easy, to be fair, none of the candidates have it particularly easy, but there’s always a nasty edge to it on social media.”

The National: Shona Robison

It comes as DFM (above) Robison said an SNP win in the by-election would not only send a strong message to Westminster but give Scotland an opportunity to stand against Tory austerity and Labour U-turns.

With just three days to go until voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Robison (below) urged residents to show Westminster that Scotland deserves better than Tory cuts and Labour weakness.

“An SNP win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West will send shockwaves through Westminster and make it clear that we reject their Brexit and austerity measures – both of which have caused untold damage to Scotland,” Robison said.

“Electing Katy Loudon on 5th October will be another historic by-election win for the SNP, and will secure a strong local champion for the community - forcing Labour to re-think their Tory tribute act.

READ MORE: Alister Jack says Scottish Government trying to 'undermine devolution'

“Michael Shanks is nothing more than a Starmer yes-man, whereas Katy Loudon will take her orders from the people of Rutherglen & Hamilton West.

“An SNP win will deliver an MP committed to delivering a fairer, wealthier society and putting Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour said it has put the cost-of-living crisis front and centre of the campaign.

 “From the cost-of-living crisis to the chaos in our NHS, Scotland is being catastrophically failed by both the SNP and the Tories," deputy leader Jackie Baillie (below, left) said. 

The National:

“This week voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West can send our two failing governments a message by voting for a fresh start with Scottish Labour.

“This isn’t as good as it gets, and on Thursday Rutherglen and Hamilton West can lead the way demanding better for Scotland.”

We told how the First Minister said he is “hopeful” of an SNP win in the seat, hotly contested against Labour who are ahead in the polls.