Dennis Canavan to join the panel at Labour for Independence event


Labour for Independence today announced an additional speaker and chair for the first in their landmark series of events to be held throughout Scotland in 2014. 

Former Labour MP, Independent MSP and Chair of Yes Scotland Advisory Board, Dennis Canavan, will join the impressive panel announced a few weeks ago.  Order will be kept by actress, comedienne and Yes Scotland Advisory Board member Elaine C Smith, who will take the Chair.

The debate entitled: A Labour case for Yes – A Labour vision of Scotland’s future is to be held in the main conference hall of the STUC (333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow) on Thursday, January 23, 2014.  Beginning at 7.30pm it will feature a panel made up of members of the Labour Party, Labour veterans and stalwarts, and prominent members of the Labour movement.

The full line up of speakers is now confirmed as

  • Sir Charles Gray, Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, 1986-1992.
  • Alex Mosson, Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1999-2003.
  • Dennis Canavan, Labour MP for Falkirk West, 1974-2000.
  • Jeane Freeman, Special Advisor to Labour First Minister Jack McConnell, 2001-2005
  • Allan Grogan, Labour for Independence Leader and Labour Party member.
  • Deborah Waters, Labour for Independence Deputy Leader and Labour Party member.
  • Bob Thomson, Scottish Labour Party Chairman, 1990-91 and Treasurer, 1993-99) who will discuss the benefits of the Common Weal Model in Scotland.

Labour For Independence  Leader Allan Grogan described the occasion as a potentially game-changing event in the referendum campaign, which proves that a Yes vote in September is not a vote for the SNP. He said:

“It is important for people to see that a Yes vote this September is not a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP, but rather an opportunity to improve the lives of all people in our country. The fact we have such strong support within the Labour movement is testament to the merits of what independence can bring to Scotland and also towards the restoration of the Labour Party to its founding principles.”

Sir Charles Gray also highlighted the benefits independence can bring to those within the Labour movement. He said:

“The sound argument for Scottish independence is fast crossing the political divide, but the Labour case is at the top and remains there due to the increasing interest by solid Labour voters and active Trade Unionists who anticipate a post-referendum Labour victory.”

Mr Grogan, who is a Scottish Labour Party member, set up Labour for Independence after becoming increasingly frustrated at party bosses’ continued refusal to acknowledge support for independence among the party’s grassroots.  Mr Grogan said the group was rapidly growing within the Labour Party and continues to recruit a great deal of support from both Labour members and supporters throughout Scotland.

The event is free to attend and is open to all who wish to hear an alternative message on the benefits of independence. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30 pm start.

The group intends to stage another five such events in Scotland’s major cities in the months leading up to the referendum.