“Unwanted & Unnecessary”: Corbyn U-turns on ScotRef with Dugdale

Nathanael Williams

Corbyn and Kezia finally on the same page as UK manifesto launches

JEREMY CORBYN, the leader of the UK Labour party, has come out and said a second referendum on Scottish independence is “unwanted and unnecessary” by the Scottish people.

The comments, representing a U-turn, were made during the launch of the UK Labour’s General Election manifesto which takes place today (Tuesday 16 May) in Bradford and saw Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale join the UK party’s leader.

The manifesto explicitly states “Labour’s opposes a second Scottish independence referendum”, instead offering a rehash of the federal settlement pronounced by Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale earlier in the year.

Both Labour figures had previous disagreed, with Corbyn having gone on record first discounting Dugdale’s policy of a new ‘people’s convention’ and federal UK and then suggesting that an another independence referendum should be held.

Read more – What you need to know about Labour’s leaked manifesto

At the rally in West Yorkshire Jeremy Corbyn said: “Scotland doesn’t need or want a second independence referendum. We need the SNP government to get on with the job of governing. The SNP government should be using the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to focus on jobs, grow the economy, help family incomes and invest in public services.

“Holding another referendum on leaving the UK is the wrong thing to do for Scotland’s economy, especially when there is so much economic uncertainty from the Tories’ plans for a reckless Brexit. Labour will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

Among Corbyn’s plan from his “radical manifesto of hope” are plans to introduce an “excessive pay levy” on salaries above £330,000, more free childcare and the nationalisation of England’s 10 water companies.

Read more – Corbyn gives thumbs up to second referendum for Scotland 

Corbyn previously said: “Well, if a referendum is held then it is absolutely fine, it should be held. It’s not, I don’t think it’s the job of Westminster of the Labour Party to prevent people holding referenda.”

Scottish Labour has been under pressure due to poor results in the local elections which saw them yield control of Glasgow City Council for the first time in 40 years and come second behind the Scottish Tories in the national number of councillors.

The party has spent the past few weeks after the result attempting to claw back support from the Tories by jostling over who is the strongest party to ‘defend the UK union’.

Kezia Dugdale said: “By voting Labour on June 8, Scots can tell Nicola Sturgeon that we don’t want another divisive independence referendum. Voters can reject a second referendum and deeper Tory cuts with one vote for Labour.

“Voting Tory doesn’t send Nicola Sturgeon a message; it sends Theresa May back to Number Ten. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will work for the many, not the few.”

Picture courtesy of ian watson

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