Acclaimed charity founder and business leader, enters Eastwood SNP selection race

Charandeep Singh has announced his intention to seek the Eastwood SNP nomination for the Scottish Parliament election in 2021.

Charandeep Singh

If successful, Singh, 30, could make history by becoming the first Scottish-Sikh MSP at Holyrood.

He said: “Over the past 10 years, I have built a career outside of politics, working in business, education and community activism. The 2021 election is a seismic moment for Scotland, where the future direction of our nation will be charted. An impending chaotic Brexit and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic means the prevailing health and economic circumstances will weigh heavily on the Scottish Parliament. I’m standing as a candidate to bring my experience, insight and leadership to Holyrood and help take Scotland forward.”

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Charandeep has a range of career experience, and was appointed the youngest-ever Deputy Chief Executive at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

He continued: “I understand the needs of Scotland’s business community. This year, I have worked tirelessly with local and national businesses to navigate the Covid-19 crisis and prepare for Brexit. Now more than ever, we need to prioritise economic recovery and job security - these issues matter to Eastwood residents. I will back local businesses and ensure an SNP government will deliver for them.”

Singh previously featured as a candidate on the SNP’s Glasgow List in 2016 and was instrumental in Humza Yousaf’s campaign to unseat Johann Lamont in Glasgow Pollok.

He said: “I know what it takes to gain a seat from the opposition. I will bring my campaigning, fundraising and election experience alongside the members of Eastwood SNP to run an effective, winning campaign in 2021.”

As Strathclyde Student Union President in 2010, he led national campaigns challenging Westminster tuition fees, promoting equal marriage in Scotland and boosting graduate employment: “Throughout my career, I have stood up for people and communities and I have been able to enact real change through direct action, policy-making and influencing decision-makers. As a young person, I can relate to Scotland’s youth and I will be a voice for them making sure that Holyrood is securing their future.”

Raised in the Southside of Glasgow, Charandeep believes he can represent Eastwood voters and their issues: “SNP members have a unique chance to gain Eastwood next year. I have deep connections to the area, and I understand the aspirations and priorities of people living here: job security, education and thriving businesses. With my real-life experience, I can build a majority coalition of voters and win their trust to back the SNP in 2021.”

With a passion for helping others, Charandeep demonstrated his community organising skills by founding The Sikh Food Bank in March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic: “When I saw the Covid-19 pandemic unfold, I realised that the poorest and most vulnerable were being hit hardest by lockdown measures. With a dedicated team of volunteers, we started an organisation from scratch and delivered over 80,000 meals direct to those in need. This humbling experience has opened my eyes to the inequalities in Scotland. As a parliamentarian, I will fight to close the gap on poverty and income inequality and challenge the Tory party’s austerity agenda.”

As a committed independence campaigner, Charandeep is boldly optimistic about Scotland’s future: “I was solidly YES in 2014 and the referendum result was heart-breaking. As the polls show a shift in support, Scotland can achieve independence. However, we cannot be complacent – the next referendum campaign must appeal to a wider section of society; a strong economic vision must be at the heart of this. The Scottish Parliament also needs to represent modern Scotland. I believe I can reflect our nation’s diversity and craft a message that will resonate with those who voted No in 2014.”