The depute leader of Renfrewshire Council has described her selection as the SNP’s Westminster candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South as a “bittersweet moment” following the death of her mother Margaret.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron said she is “utterly heartbroken” as she comes to terms with the loss, which came two days before it was confirmed she was the party’s candidate to replace Mhairi Black MP at the next General Election.

The Kilbarchan resident, who has represented Johnstone South and Elderslie since May 2017, said it will be a “privilege” to fight for the seat. She saw off competition from fellow SNP councillor Robert Innes in a ballot.

In a statement, Councillor Cameron said: “I would like to thank all the members who put their trust in me and voted for me to be their SNP representative. It will be my privilege to fight for this seat.

“While I was delighted to hear I had won the selection contest, it was a bittersweet moment, because we lost my mum only on Tuesday night. We are utterly heartbroken and still trying to process the fact that she’s not here.

“My mum wasn’t interested in politics, but I know she would have been very proud of me. I lost my sister during the 2017 local election campaign, and it has brought back those sad memories too.

“As I promised the members, I will give my all to keep this an SNP seat and will have my mother’s voice in my ear as I ensure Paisley and Renfrewshire South stays yellow.”

Councillor Cameron, who describes herself as a “passionate anti-poverty campaigner”, is a former advocacy worker and manager in the voluntary sector.

She was previously chair of Renfrewshire Integration Joint Board, the body responsible for oversight of the health and social care partnership, and is currently chair of the Fairer Renfrewshire sub-committee, a council task force formed to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Councillor Cameron was elected depute leader of the council after the local government election in May 2022, replacing predecessor Councillor Jim Paterson.

In an interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service in September 2022, Councillor Cameron said she hoped she could be a role model for young women considering pursuing a career in politics.

At the time, she recalled a moment from an event she had attended as an elected member, which had a profound impact on her.

She said: “I’d been at Johnstone Town Hall for an event and there was a young woman there who said she wanted to be a politician and when she told somebody that, they laughed at her.

“She was a young, working-class woman and the provost was there, so was I, and some other councillors, and we talked to her at the end and said, ‘don’t let anyone ever tell you that because you’re a young woman or because you’re working class you can’t be a politician’.

“She was exactly the type of person that we want to represent people.”