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No Leadership Contest in Scottish Labour Party

SCOTLAND: LABOUR LEFT FAILS TO NOMINATE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGER

Alex Miller

The official left wing of the Scottish Labour Party has failed to get a candidate on to the ballot paper in the election of the Party’s next leader. The August 22 Morning Star reported that “Any leadership candidate needed a minimum of five other MSPs to support them, but the Scottish Campaign for Socialism was only able to muster four names in total as nominations for the post closed at noon on August 21”.

The Star reported that as a result, the Brownite Labour MSP Wendy Alexander would in effect be “crowned” as the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party. The leadership post became vacant earlier in August when ex-First Minister Jack McConnell announced his resignation as leader, following Labour’s defeat by the Scottish National Party in the May elections to the Scottish Parliament.

The Labour left’s failure to muster enough votes to mount a leadership challenge to Alexander mirrors events in the British Labour Party earlier in the year, when left-wing MP John McDonnell failed to secure enough nominations from Westminster Labour MPs to force Gordon Brown into a contest for the Labour leadership.

Scottish Socialist Party national convener Colin Fox told the Star: “Wendy Alexander’s selection as new Labour leader in Scotland tells you everything you need to know about the state of that party”.

“Her manifesto, such as it is, warns of further privatisation, greater inequality and abandonment of workers’ rights and confirms that Labour is absolutely no place for self-respecting socialists”.

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