Holytown - Politics


Holytown's biggest claim in its history is undoubtably being the home of James Keir Hardie (more commonly referred to as simply "Keir Hardie"), founder of the Labour Party in Britain. He was born in the hamlet of Legbrannock in 1856, which is now in the Holytown area, and his old home/cottage has been preserved for future generations ("the Keir Hardie Cottage"). In honour of the great man, a street in the town is named after him ("Keir Hardie Avenue") as is the local sports centre ("The Keir Hardie Leisure Centre"). His name is still a focal point for pride and respect for the town and its people.

Since the time of Keir Hardie the town has been Labour Party territory.

The town now lies in the Hamilton North and Bellshill constituency for the House of Commons (Parliament) and Scottish Parliament (previously in Motherwell and Wishaw), with Michael McMahon as the local MSP (Member for Scottish Parliament) winning the seat with a 19.2% majority in 2007.

A previous MP for the town was John Reid MP, who went on to serve in various high level positions in government including Home Secretary and Leader of House of Commons.

Robert Crosser was born in Holytown in 1874, and was a Congressman in the US government for 38 years. His family emigrated when he was still a child in 1881 to the USA, where he was educated and made his way through university, law and the US government. A Democrat, he gained senior positions in government. Crosser suffered from arthritis, and used a wheelchair from 1934 onwards. He died in Cleveland in 1957 and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery in the US.

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