Leading union officials say Murphy’s time is up and Neil Findlay MSP resigns from Labour shadow cabinet
JIM MURPHY’S leadership of Labour in Scotland is hanging by a thread after trade union leaders rounded on him following Thursday’s election wipe-out at the hands of the Scottish National Party.
In a coordinated group of statements, figures on the left of the Labour Party called on Blairite Murphy to resign, citing a host of party failures.
Pat Rafferty, lead organiser of Unite in Scotland, said: “Change must begin with a new leader. It is surprising that Jim Murphy should feel he still has a mandate to lead the Party after Thursday’s results… staying on as leader will only prolong the party’s agony.”
He added that the party has “been bleeding support and credibility for years” over embracing Tony Blair’s shift to the right and the Scottish independence referendum coalition with the Tories in 2014.
“His position is untenable.” Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF trade union
Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF’s organiser, said: “Jim Murphy has just presided over the worst election defeat in the history of the Scottish Labour Party. He has to go – and he has to go now…His position is untenable.”
Simultaneously, Neil Findlay MSP – who ran against Murphy for the leadership – announced his resignation from Labour’s shadow cabinet.
Findlay said: “The problems of the Scottish Labour Party are wide ranging and deep. Radical solutions are needed and can only be implemented following a full, frank, open and democratic debate led by our loyal and hard working, committed party members – a centralised fix just won’t do.”
Findlay said he will not campaign to take over from Murphy.
Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism (CfS) called earlier in the day for Murphy to step down.
Chair of CfS Vince Mills said: “The trust that the working people of Scotland have invested in Scottish Labour, which was built up over a hundred years, has been squandered in two decades by New Labour and its acolytes. It will take years to restore it, but we must begin the task immediately.
“We hope Jim Murphy realises that he is closely identified with the politics that brought Labour’s demise and that his continued presence will prevent the restoration of Labour’s place as the champion of radical change.”
Murphy, so far, has refused to resign despite leading his party to its worst electoral result since 1918.
Labour lost over 97 per cent of its Scottish MPs, with only anti-Trident MP Ian Murray surviving in Edinburgh South.
Picture courtesy of Catholic Church of England and Wales