Leonard allies hit out at attempts to 'undermine' leader

Supporters of the Scottish Labour leader have gone on the offensive against those who have "refused to accept" Leonard's victory in last year's leadership election.

Amid rumors of a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle of the Scottish Labour frontbench, backers of Richard Leonard have warned that the furor over Kezia Dugdale's legal fund was being 'exploited' by those interested in removing Richard Leonard as party leader, less than a year after he was overwhelmingly elected by the party.

"Like many other Party members in Scotland I was proud of our decision to elect @LabourRichard our leader. 10 months later I am disgusted at those who are determined to damage our Party" said Pauline Bryan, the newly appointed Labour peer from Glasgow on twitter.

Bryan joins senior Labour MSPs, Elaine Smith and Monica Lennon who had warned that Leonard was facing "politically motivated attacks" from some of his own MSPs.

"Some of our parliamentarians have never accepted the outcome of the Scottish Labour leadership contest last year and have undermined Richard from day one" said Lennon.

Leonard supporters also hit out at Corbynskeptic MP, Ian Murray, after comments in which resurrected the "branch office" attack on Labour to criticise Richard Leonard for becoming a "nodding dog" for Corbyn.

“Kez spent her entire leadership dispelling the myth that Scotland is just a branch office. Now, it’s simply what Corbyn says goes, or you get ostracised.” he had said.

"The hypocrisy of those who opposed making Scottish Labour distinct from the party nationally until Corbyn was elected is staggering" said one Labour source. "Now they're complaining we've got a coherent message right across the country."

It comes as the contents of a WhatsApp messing group between Labour MSPs and Labour officials were leaked to the press, after Jackie Baillie MSP criticised the party's handling of the press after releasing a statement of solidarity with Kezia Dugdale.

"Leaking these private conversations goes to show how little respect is being shown to the party members who voted overwhelmingly for Richard and his manifesto of Real Change" the source added.

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