Mixed re­ac­tions to lead­er­ship vic­tory

Rutherglen Reformer - - Chef’s Corner - Dou­glas Dickie

James Kelly MSP says the elec­tion of Jeremy Cor­byn as Labour leader can help his party re­gain lost sup­port.

Mr Kelly had pre­vi­ously said he was “not con­vinced the agenda he (Jeremy Cor­byn) is of­fer­ing is one that will take Labour for­ward.”

But he put that to one side this week as po­lit­i­cal fig­ures from all par­ties in the area re­acted to Mr Cor­byn’s em­phatic vic­tory.

Mr Kelly, who had backed Andy Burn­ham for the lead­er­ship, said: “I con­grat­u­late Jeremy Cor­byn on his elec­tion as leader.

“Labour will use the en­thu­si­asm that his cam­paign gen­er­ated to reach out to those vot­ers that left Labour. We now have a fresh team in place and I am look­ing for­ward to Kez (Dug­dale, Scot­tish leader) and Jeremy talk­ing about the is­sues that mat­ter to peo­ple.

“Speak­ing to lo­cal peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, they want politi­cians to cam­paign for bet­ter and more se­cure jobs, a strong NHS and house build­ing to ad­dress the thou­sands on hous­ing wait­ing lists. These are the is­sues we will high­light in the weeks ahead.”

Mr Cor­byn’s rise to Labour leader has sent shock­waves through Bri­tish pol­i­tics.

The left-winger had only en­tered the race to widen the de­bate on how to take Labour for­ward, but he ended up win­ning on the first bal­lot with 59 per cent of the vote.

Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West MP, Mar­garet Ferrier, said she hoped to work with Mr Cor­byn: “I’ve pre­vi­ously writ­ten in the Re­former about the need for proper op­po­si­tion in the House of Com­mons, and hope that the Labour party will now sup­port the SNP in our ef­forts to op­pose the Tory’s dam­ag­ing poli­cies in ar­eas such as aus­ter­ity and Tri­dent re­newal.

“I hope Mr Cor­byn’s prin­ci­ples re­main stead­fast now he is leader. The ap­point­ment of the un­elected Lord Fal­coner to his shadow cab­i­net is a com­plete con­tra­dic­tion to his long­stand­ing op­po­si­tion to the ab­surd House of Lords.”

Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lors, Robert Brown said he hoped there was an op­por­tu­nity for his party: “Jeremy Cor­byn’s lead­er­ship of the Labour Party looks like sig­nalling a civil war within Labour.

“More im­por­tantly for the coun­try, we are see­ing a Con­ser­va­tive Party in gov­ern­ment lurch­ing to the right and now the Labour Party re­turn­ing to ex­treme left pol­i­tics.”

And the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for Ruther­glen at next year’s Scot­tish elec­tion, Tay­lor Muir, said the Tories were the only cred­i­ble “pro-Union” party: “While Ni­cola Stur­geon breaks her in­fa­mous ‘once in a gen­er­a­tion’ vow by plan­ning another vote on in­de­pen­dence, Labour have elected a leader who has re­jected the la­bel of a union­ist and said he would work with the SNP to gain power.”

Cor blimey New Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn

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