Union says it will not oppose a change of leader

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, ASLEF, Unison, Unite,

Jim MurphyUNISON has turned up the pressure on under-fire Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.

Murphy, who oversaw the loss of all but one Labour seats in Scotland in last week’s general election, has already faced calls to resign from ASLEF and Unite. Now UNISON Scotland’s Labour Link, while saying it would not initiate a change, has said it would not oppose a change.

A statement said: ‘The scale of Scottish Labour’s defeat in the General Election result last Thursday indicates the need for a radical change in approach. The problems of Scottish Labour long pre-date this election and the current leadership.

“It is unprecedented for a party leader not to stand down after such a defeat, particularly when he loses his own seat. The campaign may have been energetic, but it lacked focus and clearly voters do not regard Jim Murphy as a credible messenger of Scottish Labour values.

“Scottish Labour has a limited period of time to reorganise itself to provide a credible challenge in the Scottish Parliament elections next year. There is very little time for a new leader to take the necessary actions, which require more than simply a change of leadership. Against that is the risk of further damage being done in next year’s election if no change takes place.

“The current leader was elected fairly recently by a clear majority of members. However a majority of UNISON Labour Link members did not share that view. Given that, we do not believe it is UNISON’s place to initiate a change in leadership. However, if there is a wider movement proposing change UNISON Labour Link would not oppose it.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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