In full: Neil Findlay writes to Lothian members after MP says party is 'full of thugs'
Labour MSP Neil Findlay has written to party members in the Lothians following recent comments by Ian Murray MP which have been widely criticised.
Read his full letter below.
Dear [Party Member],
You may be aware of negative media coverage of the Labour party over the last few days.
Recent newspaper articles have reported comments made against staff and members of the Scottish Labour Party.
I am appalled that loyal and committed members and staff have been described in derogatory terms.
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.
We have a positive and important message to sell:
- It is only Labour that has a plan to end austerity by investing in our people, communities and industries.
- It is only Labour that can end Tory failure over Brexit.
- It is only Labour that will call time on tax avoidance.
- It is only Labour that will take our rail and bus services back into public ownership and introduce free bus travel for all.
- It is only Labour that has an industrial strategy that will invest in a green industrial revolution.
- It is only Labour that will invest in our public services.
- And it is only Labour that will tackle the blight of poverty and inequality.
It helps no one if Scottish Labour turns inwards rather than focus our energies on positive campaigning and holding the Government to account.
We will always be a party of democratic debate but that debate has to be honest and respectful and we have to stay united and disciplined. We certainly do not need stories and personal attacks on colleagues being leaked or private discussions and internal policy debates passed on to hostile newspapers. That serves no one other than our political opponents.
I am appealing to our elected representatives, our party members, as well as and affiliated trades unions to come together and use our collective voice in promoting our policies. Because they will deliver the real and radical change our country and our people are desperately crying out for.
Party members like you who campaign in rain, hail or shine, pay your membership and support the party week in week out, deserve better.
I want to assure every member from across our party that I value your support, your efforts, your ideas and opinions - you are very welcome in our party. I find your values, principles and friendship inspiring. Please continue to support the cause of Labour - we need you, our country needs you and our people need you because they need a radical and transformative Labour Government and it is only through your work and that of our committed, capable and hardworking staff that we can make this happen.
Neil Findlay MSP