‘There is no ban’: Councilor challenges Labor ‘veto’ over candidates voting yes

A LABOR adviser said he knew party activists running in local elections in May who voted Yes in 2014.

Tensions arose between British and Scottish Labor leaders last week after Anas Sarwar rejected a suggestion from Sir Keir Starmer’s team that the party was open to members who support independence seeking elective posts .

A Labor activist later told The National that activists who support independence now feel like “second-class citizens” in their own party.

READ MORE: Pro-indy Labor members feel like ‘second-class citizens’ over candidacy ban

But Lennon, a Labor councilor from South Lanarkshire, who campaigned for the No in 2014 and continues to oppose independence, attacked the development.

“There is no rule that a Labor candidate must oppose independence or must support a particular manifesto commitment,” he told The National.

“Indeed, several Labor candidates have directly contradicted the explicit manifesto commitments, so I don’t understand why independence would be any different.”

The councillor, who represents Rutherglen Central and North wards, added: ‘I don’t ask people very often if they support independence because I don’t care. I don’t think it’s a politically important thing. But I certainly know people who voted Yes in 2014 who are candidates this time around. Maybe they changed their minds.

He declined to name the Labor Council candidates who voted Yes in 2014.

Sarwar sparked a war of words with Starmer’s team in London last week by suggesting they don’t understand the Scottish party as he dismissed suggestions from candidates supporting independence.

Sources close to Starmer, the British leader, had said that putting forward pro-independence people could help the party win more seats in a general election by bringing people back to the party that had decided to support the SNP .

A source close to Starmer told The Sunday Times: “You don’t have to have a binary position; you can have people with different positions.

Sarwar said Scottish Labor was a pro-British party and that despite its close relationship with Starmer, “when it comes to Scotland, when it comes to Scottish Labour, I’m in charge, I’m the boss “.

Labor have politicians who support Scotland leaving the UK, but Sarwar insisted they were elected on a platform to keep the UK united and felt he should not to have another referendum.

“Anyone who was speaking or quoting clearly fails to understand that decisions on the selection of candidates in Scotland, even for a general election, are made by the Scottish Labor Party and the Scottish Labor Party alone,” he said. declared.

“We will stand on a platform in the UK general election which is to reform and renew the UK, which is, yes, to bring power out of Westminster and into the nations and regions of the UK, but also to get him out of Holyrood. and in local communities across the country as well. And that’s what we expect from every candidate. »

Labor sources have insisted that candidates running for the party must support the parties’ policies and election manifestos.

Party activist Hollie Cameron (above) was deselected as the Labor candidate in Glasgow for the Holyrood election last May for supporting independence on the grounds that her views conflicted with the party manifesto

However, deputy party leader Jackie Baillie was selected as the candidate for Holyrood in 2016 despite opposition to Scottish Labor policy to scrap Trident.

The policy was adopted by the Scottish Labor Party under the leadership of Kezia Dugdale in 2015 and fought the 2016 Holyrood election on this basis. The British Labor Party supports the renewal of Trident.

However, Scottish Labor manifestos for the 2017 and 2019 general elections supported the UK party line and stressed that defense was a reserved issue.

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