Scottish Labour in Civil War
Party in revolt amid calls for purge of Blairites to consolidate Corbyn’s power Attacks on old guard see Jim Murphy branded a man without principles
SCOTTISH and UK Labour’s most senior officials should be purged from the party to stop Blairites seeking to “undermine” Jeremy Corbyn, an influential left wing journal says. Scottish Labour’s general secretary Brian Roy should be removed, the Scottish Left Review (SLR) will say in its latest edition next month.
The call came after SLR previously said Dugdale should be replaced as Scottish Labour leader.
The SLR also reiterates its call for Dugdale to be removed in the forthcoming edition.
Roy, the son of former Labour MP Frank Roy, is a close ally of Dugdale.
Dugdale backed moves to replace Corbyn a year ago during last year’s bit- ter leadership election between Corbyn and Owen Smith.
SLR said Labour’s UK general secretary Iain McNicol should also be ousted. McNicol was caught up in a legal battle about limiting who could vote in the contest. In its editorial, the SLR warned that a failure to oust Roy and McNicol would lead to a weakening of Corbyn’s position.
The call came as Corbyn continued with his five-day tour of Scotland yesterday, with campaign visits to Fife and Glasgow.
The SLR said Corbyn’s supporters need “control of the party machine” to promote radical policies and build a mass movement.
The journal has links with trade unions and has backers from across the left in Scotland in Labour. Former Scottish Labour chairman Bob Thomson is a senior member of the editorial board of SLR.
The article says: “As Scottish Left Review called for in its last editorial, Dugdale needs to be removed by a leadership challenge.
“The Labour left in Scotland must quickly find a candidate to do this.
“Then Iain McNicol, current general secretary of British Labour, needs to be removed as does Brian Roy, current general secretary of Scottish Labour.
“Control of Labour organisation through these general secretaries prevents the Corbyn current washing through the rest of the Labour Party.”
Meanwhile, SLR said that sitting Labour MPs should face mandatory reselection by their local party members before being allowed to stand in General Elections.
It said: “We only need to recall the 1983 People’s March for Jobs to remember that Labour itself did – and could again – organise mass demonstrations.
“Only with control of the party machine can such initiatives be taken and be successful.
“And then there is the issue of mandatory reselection of sitting MPs in order that the right is removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party so that parliamentary candidates and elected MPs reflect the new will of the mass of Labour Party members.
“Therefore, the issue of deselection cannot be ducked.
“If it is, the Blairites will use Venezuela or any other forthcoming issue to keep trying to undermine Corbyn.
“To not act in these ways would be a tragedy because what Corbyn and Corbynism represent is not just the articulation of a deeply and long-held revulsion at the market and neoliberalisation but also giving that revulsion
Dugdale needs to be removed by a leadership challenge. The Labour left in Scotland must quickly find A candidate to do this
of a new found sense of credibility and vigour which can create an upward, virtuous spiral.”
Meanwhile, Corbyn will today say the country needs a government that will “fight for a society free from racism and discrimination” on the final day of his Scottish campaign tour.
The Labour leader will meet activists in Musselburgh, East Lothian, before attending an event at the Edinburgh Fringe and later speaking at the Rock Against Racism festival in Glasgow.
A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “The successful General Election campaign under Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale delivered Labour gains across Scotland. Over the summer we have continued that campaign and will fight for the return of a Labour Government for the many, not the few.”
The Scottish Left Review (SLR) is calling for Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Scottish general secretary Brian Roy to both step down