Conservative councillor Thomas Kerr is standing to become an MP in Glasgow East as the UK prepares to go to the polls on July 4.

The Shettleston politician from Cranhill said he will “fight” for the people of the East End in Westminster and isn’t afraid to go against his own party if he disagrees with them.

Others contending with Councillor Kerr for Glasgow East include the SNP’s David Linden who is hoping to retain his seat and the Labour candidate John Grady.

Growing up with parents who had addiction issues, Bailie Kerr, 27, a father of one, has experienced a tough start in life and said that shouldn’t deter anyone from achieving their ambitions.

He said: “I got involved in politics and there was no one who looked or sounded like me. I have never been to university. My background is two parents who struggled with drug addiction.

“There are some people who have the same background as me. Our backgrounds should not hold us back.”

Entering politics when he was first elected at the age of 20 in 2017, he held his seat in 2022 despite his party’s standing in Glasgow City Council being decimated with the loss of six councillors elsewhere.

Commenting on the perception that the Conservatives can be viewed as elitist in working-class areas of Glasgow, councillor Kerr said the party is instead about “aspiration.”

Emphasising that the party in Scotland has their own identity, he said: “My argument is that the Scottish Conservatives are a completely different party.

“I am not a rich toff. I will put Glasgow East first.”

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Giving an example of standing up for local people, he said: “I fought for the Forge Market traders during Covid for business support grants.”

Asking people to judge his party on their record, he pointed out Prime Minister Rishi Sunak introduced furlough during the pandemic.

Councillor Kerr said: “The Conservative Party is about aspiration and opportunities. It doesn’t matter your background if you work hard and play by the rules you should be rewarded.”

He pointed out that wages have risen and “inflation is going down.”

He said he would proudly walk in the East End with Mr Sunak and wear a blue rosette even though he doesn’t agree with every Tory policy adding it's impossible to get a “perfect party.”

He referred to his reputation as a “straight talker and said: “I will say it as it is. If that means challenging my party I am happy to do that.

“I’m a Glaswegian first, a Scot second and a Brit third.”

The local Glasgow Conservative leader believes his main competitor is Labour in the upcoming election – claiming people are “sick” of the SNP.

He said: “I want to give them (Labour) a run for their money. I grew up in this area – I have seen what has happened. I will not let them walk into this seat and take people for granted.”