Sunday, 9 November 2014

Unions back Katy's bid for Deputy Leader

The campaign by local MP Katy Clark to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in Scotland received good and bad news when nominations closed last week.

With candidates requiring at least 10 nominations from fellow Labour parliamentarians in order to stand, the closing figures showed Ms Clark just made the cut with 11 nominations, including one from herself.  The only other contender for the deputy leadership, Kezia Dugdale MSP, received 54 nominations.

However, Katy Clark secured the backing of 7 trade unions, including UNISON, Unite and the GMB, while none have declared for Ms Dugdale.

The outcome of the internal Labour Party vote will be decided by an ‘electoral college’ where parliamentarians, trade unions and members each have a third of the votes.  In some cases, for example where a member is also a trade unionist, individuals will have more than one vote.

The MP for North Ayrshire & Arran is clearly seen as the candidate of the left, arguing for a return to traditional Labour values.  Last week Ms Clark told, “We must recognise that  Scottish politics has changed and it can't be business as usual.  The vast majority of people want a secure job, a decent home and access to good quality public services.  This is prevented for too many by wealth being held in the hands of a minority.  It is unacceptable in the 21st century that people have to queue at a foodbank to feed their children.   These are the issues I will be addressing throughout the campaign.”

In the contest for Leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Katy Clark has given her backing to fellow left-winger Neil Findlay MSP.  However, Mr Findlay also emerged well behind his right-wing opponent, Jim Murphy MP, when nominations closed last week.  Murphy received 43 nominations to Findlay’s 12, with centre-ground candidate Sarah Boyack on 10.  Like Katy Clark, Mr Findlay is backed by 7 trade unions.

The outcome of the votes for ‘Scottish’ Labour Leader and Deputy Leader will be announced on December 13th.

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