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Unite statement on the Scottish Labour leadership

Unite statement on the Scottish Labour leadership

29 October 2014

The next Scottish Labour leader must forge a clear Scottish identity, Scotland’s largest trade union, Unite said today (Wednesday 29 October), as it pledged to play its part in offering candidates the platform to articulate their visions for the future of the labour movement in Scotland.

With two candidates declared so far, Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Neil Findlay’s declaration that he will stand for leader of the Scottish Labour party should be welcomed – his democratic socialist credentials are without question and he has a proven track record of representing the interests of working people.  

“We have been very clear in the aftermath of the referendum and Johann Lamont’s resignation that Labour must understand that there has been a seismic change in the political landscape of Scotland.  

“Today the reality is that voters struggle to tell you what Labour stands for and, where there is a view, it is that the party's timidity in policy is designed to appeal to the more advantaged in our country. 

“The Scottish people’s rejection of this politics is clear given that Labour has failed to win a Scottish parliamentary election since 2003 and more of the same will only lead to further defeat. 

“So the next Scottish leader must forge a clear Scottish identity - tackling head-on the list of inequalities in our economy and society, and delivering the devolved nation our people seek, or it will not find support among the electorate - irrespective of what happens within the body of the party. 

“With Sarah Boyack already confirming she will stand and the expectation that a further candidate will step forward in the next twenty-four hours, we can now begin to look forward to an engaging and robust debate about the future of Scottish Labour.

“Unite will play its part by giving candidates the platform to articulate their visions for the future of the labour movement and politics in Scotland.” 

ENDS 

For further information please contact Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869 or Peter Welsh on 07810 157 931