Blow for Dugdale leadership as left gain influence in the party
SCOTTISH MOMENTUM activists have won a victory for the left of Scottish Labour by winning five out of eight constituency places on the party executive.
The election comes as a blow to party leader Kezia Dugdale, who has spoken out against the UK party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
The new seats, in the constituency section of the party’s ruling executive, which are augmented with elected members, trade union members, youth members and co-operative and socialist society members means that the left could be able to rely on 16 members in important votes, just shy of a controlling majority.
The Momentum supported candidates include leading activists including Cara Hilton and Stephen Low.
“Along with the majority of the Scottish Labour Party’s electorate voting to re-elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party last year, this shows a real shift towards a more radical Labour Party in Scotland. The work continues but this is a step forward in rebuilding Labour as a vehicle for social change.” Martyn Cook
Speaking to CommonSpace, Martyn Cook of Momentum said: “We are delighted that five members of the Campaign for Socialism have been elected to Scottish Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee. The successful candidates were Lesley Brennan, Angela Feeney, Ann Henderson, Cara Hilton and Stephen Low, and I am sure they will make a vital contribution to the party.
“Along with the majority of the Scottish Labour Party’s electorate voting to re-elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party last year, this shows a real shift towards a more radical Labour Party in Scotland. The work continues but this is a step forward in rebuilding Labour as a vehicle for social change.”
The elections to the constituency section also saw the election of three supporters of the leadership.
The two youth positions on the executive are coming back up for election in May, and will likely be fought over by opposing left and right factions.
The election follows weeks of turmoil in the Momentum organisation, set up to campaign for Corbyn within the Labour party and in wider society. The Scottish organisation, organised through the longer running Campaign for Socialism, has been less effected by the turmoil in the organisation than the rest of the UK, where its structures have been largely overturned amid infighting.
The manoeuvring of Corbyn supporters into positions on the executive may be a sign of how Momentum will continue to organise in future, using its networks to steadily gain influence in the party.
The shifting balance of influence within the Scottish party may create more problems for Dugdale, who is struggling re-build the party after it slid into third place behind the Scottish Conservatives in the 2016 Scottish elections.
CommonSpace contacted Scottish Labour for a comment, but they had not responded by the time of publication.
UPDATE:A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Congratulations to the candidates who were successful and will make up part of our SEC. The Labour family is focused on opposing a another divisive referendum on independence and offering a fairer, better alternative to austerity.”
Picture courtesy of Facebook
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