A FORMER Hermitage Academy pupil who works as chief executive of a charity providing medical help for people in Palestine has been chosen as a Labour candidate in the next general election.

Melanie Ward’s selection as the party’s candidate in Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy came after the original choice, Wilma Brown, was suspended by Labour after past tweets came to light in which Ms Brown described Humza Yousaf as “first minister of Gaza” and told a man from India he would “never be an Englishman”.

Just last week the Advertiser reported how Melanie had been chosen as one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in global health as a result of her work with the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Melanie, the charity's chief executive, and her team distributed medical supplies worth more than $500,000 to Palestinians across just two days.

The group has also provided Palestinians with food, hygiene kits, blankets, mattresses, and around $7 million in medical supplies.

The charity is one of the only international aid organisations that continues to have a physical presence in northern Gaza, the area which has endured the most damage from Israeli forces.

Melanie, a former pupil of Hermitage Academy, has been involved in humanitarian work for several years.

In 2019, while she was working as deputy country director fore the International Rescue Committee, the Advertiser reported on her work in Nigeria on a UK Aid funded project to help 62,000 children get back to school amid the armed threat of Boko Haram.

And in 2013 we lifted the lid on her three months working in Palestine as a human rights observer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel.

Melanie, who previously stood as a Labour candidate in Glenrothes in 2015, is also the chair of The Circle, a non-government, non-profit organisation set up to create a fairer world for women and girls founded by pop star Annie Lennox.

Melanie previously worked for Action Aid UK and Christian Aid.