Scotland: Brownite MSP to be crowned Labour leader

August 25, 2007

The official left-wing of the Scottish Labour Party has failed to get a candidate onto the ballot paper in the election of the party's next leader. The August 22 Morning Star reported that "Any leadership candidate needed a minimum of five other MSPs [members of the Scottish parliament] to support them, but the Scottish Campaign for Socialism was only able to muster four names in total as nominations for the post closed at noon on August 21".

The paper reported that as a result, Brownite Labour MSP Wendy Alexander would in effect be "crowned" as the new leader. The leadership post became vacant earlier in August when former first minister Jack McConnell announced his resignation as leader following Labour's defeat by the Scottish National Party in the May elections to the Scottish parliament.

The Labour left's failure to muster enough votes to mount a leadership challenge to Alexander mirrors events in the British Labour Party earlier in the year, when left-wing MP John McDonnell failed to secure enough nominations from Westminster Labour MPs to force Gordon Brown into a contest for the Labour leadership.

Scottish Socialist Party national convener Colin Fox told the Star that Alexander's "manifesto, such as it is, warns of further privatisation, greater inequality and abandonment of workers' rights and confirms that Labour is absolutely no place for self-respecting socialists".

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