THOMAS Kerr is one of 14 candidates vying to become the next MP for Rutherglen & Hamilton West.

Voters will head to the polls on Thursday after Margaret Ferrier vacated the seat following a recall petition.

The Conservatives have selected Kerr as their candidate although the election is expected to be a race between the SNP and Labour.

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Here’s all you need to know about the Tory candidate.

Who is Thomas Kerr?

Kerr (below) currently serves as the Scottish Conservative councillor for the Shettleston Ward, having first been elected to the position in 2017.

He was subsequently re-elected in 2022 for his second term and took over the leadership of the Glasgow Conservative group in 2019 after serving as deputy for two years.

The National: Thomas Kerr

He sits on a number of committees and was also chair of the Tory Reform Group. According to his profile on the Conservative website, he has a “keen interest in development, the economy, jobs and growth” in Glasgow.

What’s his background in politics?

Kerr first joined the Conservatives aged 14 and previously stood for the party in the 2016 and 2021 Holyrood elections.

He previously admitted in an interview with The Herald that he “first flirted with the Labour Party”, but that he became increasingly angry at seeing people in Shettleston “let down by Labour and the SNP”.

What has he said on the campaign trail?

During a debate on STV, Kerr was involved in a clash with SNP candidate Katy Loudon over the prospect of a congestion charge for those in Rutherglen & Hamilton West travelling into Glasgow.

It was something he and Michael Shanks were in agreement with as the Labour candidate said such a charge would “hammer” working people.

During the same debate, Kerr was asked what he said to those “struggling to make ends meet because of rising mortgage costs” brought about by the Conservative Party by Shanks.

Kerr backed the current UK Government and said although he understood “times are tough”, inflation was a global issue and was being felt across the world due to factors such as the war in Ukraine.

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“What the Chancellor and Prime Minister are doing is focusing on the job. Labour doesn’t have a plan for any of this stuff," Kerr said.

We also previously told how the candidate was branded a “hypocrite” for his comments on gender reform, just weeks after posing with an LGBT flag.

'More to offer'

Although Kerr is far from among the favourites to win the by-election, he has said he believes his party has something to offer.

Speaking to The Herald, he said: “We genuinely feel we have more to offer people in these neighbourhoods than the SNP or Labour.

“They merely exist as election fodder for Labour and the SNP.”

He also accused the SNP and Labour of making the Tories a “convenient baddie to mask their own failings”.