Former Labour MP, Ernie Ross, dies aged 79

Ernie Ross, who was the Labour MP for Dundee West between 1979 and 2005 died yesterday aged 79.

Mr Ross was born in Dundee, and worked as a quality engineer for Timex in the city, before being elected to Parliament.

A number of Scottish Labour figures have paid tribute to Mr Ross.  Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described Mr Ross as a ‘UK Labour stalwart’ who had a reputation as ‘a formidable and effective campaigner.

Labour’s leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar described Mr Ross as a ‘passionate voice against injustice’.

Labour MSP, Michael Marra, who himself stood unsuccessfully for Labour in Dundee West in the 2015 General Election, wrote on Twitter about Mr Ross, that, ”He took untold joy in the election of a Labour government in 1997. For eight years he never stopped smiling as he voted through legislation time and again that helped his constituents and the country”.

During his time at Westminster, Mr Ross was a strong advocate for the development of Dundee University.

Although Dundee West was a Labour stronghold in the post war era, it has now become one of the Scottish National Party’s safest seats at Westminster.  In 2019, Chris Law was re-elected for the SNP with a majority of 12,259.