Labour accused of being embarrassed over membership numbers

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SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has accused Scottish Labour of dithering over the election for the next leader because of their embarrassment at having to reveal their diminished membership numbers in Scotland.

The accusation follows on from the Electoral Commission figures last week showing dwindling Scottish revenue, and a party dependent on the London HQ for finance.

Commenting, Ms McKelvie said: “Labour in Scotland has been reduced to a shell of a party, a mere appendage of London – and it is getting worse.

“The latest Electoral Commission finance reports show that they have to beg London Labour for pocket money.   The situation is so dire that, even if there was an obvious successor to Iain Gray, party bosses are dithering over the leadership contest amid fears it will expose their dwindling
membership in Scotland.

Ms McKelvie claimed that members were deserting Labour in Scotland “in droves” due to it being beholden to Westminster which rendered it unable to put Scotland’s people first.

She added: “Contrast that with the SNP which is enjoying record high membership as more than 18,000 people from across the country get behind our vision for a brighter and independent future for Scotland.”

There is still no timetable to replace Iain Gray, despite his pledge that he would stand down in the Autumn following Labour’s disastrous Scottish Parliament election result.

Reports in one Scottish newspaper suggest that there is pressure from Labour’s Westminster MPs to appoint Johann Lamont as caretaker leader of the Holyrood group.