Labour MSP among group to sign letter condemning MP Ian Murray’s resignation


Scottish Labour members accuse Murray of providing a “gift” to the SNP and Tories

IAN MURRAY MP has been caught up in a storm of protest by fellow Scottish Labour members following his resignation from his position as shadow Scottish secretary in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s party leadership.

The Edinburgh South MP – Labour’s only remaining Scottish MP after a collapse in votes in Scotland at the 2015 General Election – has also been the focus of anger by from some party activists after he referred to protestors outside his Edinburgh office concerned over attempts to eject Corbyn as “dogs”.

An open letter from 80 Scottish Labour activists including Elaine Smith, MSP for Central Scotlandm and several councillors, accused Murray of providing a “gift” to the SNP and Conservatives when he helped to destabilise the UK party by resigning with other shadow ministers on Sunday (26 June).

The letter reads: “As Scottish Labour members, we write to express our deep disappointment at your decision to resign from the shadow cabinet live on television.

“Following the referendum result to leave the European Union, now more than ever it is important Scottish Labour, and most importantly Scottish voters, have representation in the Shadow Cabinet to inform Labour's actions in the coming weeks and months.

“Call off the dogs”: Ian Murray MP has called for an end to Samba protests

“We are absolutely astonished that you have chosen this moment to put factional party politics over getting the best outcome for the people of Scotland.

“Your actions are a gift to the Scottish National Party and the Tories, both of whom wish to portray our party as divided and unfit to represent the working class, at a time when the SNP are pushing for independence and the Tories are in crisis.”

The attempt to remove Corbyn from leadership of the UK party on the pretext of his performance during the referendum on EU membership has thrown the Scottish party into confusion.

Scottish party leader Kezia Dugdale criticised the leftist leader for holding on in the face of vote of no confidence from 172 of his own MPs on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Scottish Young Labour call on Kezia Dugdale to back Corbyn against “coup”

However, Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley criticised attempts to remove Corbyn, arguing they were inappropriate at a time of national crisis.

Meanwhile, a Samba drumming group made up of Murray’s constituents, who held a musical protest outside of Murray’s constituency office in Edinburgh, responded angrily after he told Corbyn to “call off the dogs” by telling his supporters to stop protesting against MPs trying to oust him.

One member of the group, Benjamin Black, said “It just shows how out of touch the leaders of the Labour coup are.

“Only Corbyn recognises the deep anger felt by Brexit voters, and the real reasons – austerity and a politics that offers no alternative.”

The criticisms from Labour members and supporters follow a letter sent to Dugdale demanding she stand by Corbyn.

The full list of Scottish Labour signatories to the letter condemning Murray is as follows:

Elaine Smith, MSP, Central Scotland

Lesley Brennan, councillor, Dundee

Nathan Morrison, councillor, Aberdeen

Brian Murphy, councillor, Highland

Alex Bennett, councillor, Midlothian

Lauren Gilmour, Scotland Rep, Young Labour Committee

Martyn Cook, National Policy Forum CLP Representative

Lyndsay Clelland, Chair of Scottish Young Labour

Michael Muir, Labour Students National committee

Liam Gleeson, Vice-chair Scottish Young Labour

Peter Higgins, Scottish Young Labour committee

Samantha Ritchie, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Laura Dover, Scottish Young Labour committee

Christopher Barbour, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Connor Boyes, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Rhea Wolfson, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Ruaraidh Groat, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Louis King, Scottish Young Labour Committee

Jordan Turner, Scottish Young Labour Lothian Chair

Dexter Govan, Scottish Labour Students committee

Alistair Craig, Scottish Labour Students Committee

John Swinburne, President Edinburgh Local Association EIS, Midlothian South CLP

Linda Clarke, Secretary Unite the Union Greater Glasgow Community Branch

Jim Matheson, Chair Unite Community Glasgow and Renfrew Branch

Nathaniel Blondel, Chair of Glasgow University Labour Club

Vijay Jackson, BAME Officer Edinburgh Labour Students

Thomas Flanagan, Vice-Chair of Stirling University Labour Party

Alex Nisbet, Vice Chair Cunningham North CLP

Sean Duffy, Kelvin CLP Executive Committee

Mike Cowley, Edinburgh North and Leith CLP Executive Committee

Jae Armstrong, Edinburgh Central CLP Executive Committee

John Cork, Youth Officer at Glasgow Southside CLP

Bruce Whitehead, Edinburgh Western CLP

Paul Cumming Edinburgh Central CLP

Eileen Simpson, Edinburgh North and Leith CLP

Simon Macfarline, Maryhill and Springburn CLP

Mo Hitchcock, East Kilbride CLP

Denise Christie, Glasgow Southside CLP

Andrew Hitchcock, East Kilbride CLP

Mark Gallacher, Rutherglen CLP

Liam Thomson, Mid Fife and Glenrothes CLP

Brendan Moohan, Almond Valley CLP

Paul McFarlane, Edinburgh North and Leith CLP

Eddie Cassidy, Renfrewshire South CLP

Kate Condie, Cowdenbeath CLP

Charles Lister, Cowdenbeath CLP

Laura McDonald, Donside CLP

Charles Warwick, Shettlestone CLP

Liam Burns, Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn CLP

Rory Scothorne, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Maggie McGinley, East Kilbride CLP

Martin Wilson, Edinburgh Northern and Leith CLP

Ian Drummond, Edinburgh Eastern CLP

Anna Lee, Stirling CLP

Ewan Gibbs,Glasgow Kelvin CLP

Veronica Bolan, Glasgow East CLP

Matthew Jones, Cathcart CLP

David Byrne, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk CLP

Kerri Sutherland, Edinburgh Northern and Leith CLP

Alisoun Morton, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Dr Moray Grigor, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Tommy Kane, Almond Valley CLP

Rob Henthorn, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Paul Inglis, Glasgow Kelvin CLP

David Fagan, Airdrie and Shotts CLP

Celia Fitzgerald, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Sean Smith, Eastwood CLP

Debra Ann Allan, Edinburgh North and Leith CLP

Peter Sharma, UNISON Health & Safety

Jim Mackenzie, UNISON shop steward

Fred Morrison, Dunfermline CLP

Ruth Aylett, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Rob Jones, Edinburgh Southern CLP

Matthew Gallagher, Clydebank and Milngavie CLP

Amy Westwell, Edinburgh Northern and Leith CLP

Martin Murray, Falkirk East CLP

Rosemary Murray, Falkirk East CLP

Alan Falconer, Tweeddale and Lauderdale CLP

Sandy Howden, Tweeddale and Lauderdale CLP

Katrina Allan, Glenrothes and Mid Fife CLP

Pictures courtesy of Open Rights Group, Jochen Stahnke 

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