Exclusive: Labour members 'furious' over Ian Murray row

Several party members across factional lines have expressed frustration after MP Ian Murray said the party was 'full of thugs and incompetents".

Speaking exclusively to The Red Robin, several members were strongly criticial of Murray's reported comments in a series of leaked Whatsapp messages, orginally reported by The Herald. 

One long standing party activist in Edinburgh, a member of Murray's CLP, told The Red Robin that several members had contacted Scottish Labour HQ over the comments, and others were said to be "furious" over behaviour which was damaging attempts to rebuild the party at a crucial time. 

Tensions between Ian Murray and the party leadership have been long running, and insiders fear the public dispute could overshadow the European Election campaign. 

It is understood a complaint about Murray's behaviour has been lodged with the party, and Labour MSP Neil Findlay has written to all party members in the Lothians.

In a strongly worded letter, Findlay wrote: "I want to say very clearly that I completely disassociate myself from anything that criticises our staff and members who work so hard for the Scottish Labour party." 

The BBC has reported Murray has also lodged a counter-claim, accusing Neil Findlay of "bullying and harassment".

Allies of Murray have criticised the party leadership over mixed polling, however one member questioned why they thought negative briefings against the party would improve the situation.

"For a MP to say that his own party is full of thugs and incompetents simply beggars belief and is just a gift to opponents. I note that the MP concerned mentions his frustration at how the Party is currently polling? Well I am intrigued to know how he thinks making comments like this in the media will improve the Party ratings?," they said.

Speaking to The Herald after his comments were leaked, Ian Murray said: "The fact that a colleague has chosen to leak this private conversation between Scottish Labour MPs is disappointing and demonstrates how low some will stoop by attacking fellow Labour politicians who call out the dreadful treatment of Kez.”

However another Labour source in Glasgow dimissed this, saying the row would be a good in the longer term and would settle disputes: "Ian Murray has behaved like a moody teenager ever since Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard took over the party leadership.

"He should be told to stop his damaging briefings against party members, including staff."

Another senior insider added: "Labour politicians and party members are working hard up and down the UK, this situation overshadows their work and is intolerable."

The party is understood to be investigating the complaints. 

Image: Open Rights Group

 

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