Scottish Labour grassroots resist moves for leadership challenge

Members of Scottish Labour have resisted a reported challenge to Richard Leonard's leadership by MSPs critical of the left winger.

After years of almost annual leadership battles, many members have taken to social media this evening to insist another factional leadership battle would do unrepairable harm to the party.

Several elected politicians as well as grassroots members seemed to pre-empt a rumoured attempt to trigger a leadership contest after a tough set of results at the Euro elections.

North Ayrshire council leader Joe Cullinane called for a "stark conversation" about how the party rebuilds in Scotland rather than a "summer of infighting"

Activist Connor Boyes said online that the Scottish party at Holyrood saw the solution to any problem being a new leader.

"View of a lot of the grassroots is that this is part of an attritional campaign against having someone Corbyn-sympathetic in the leadership role, but can't help but think this is down to the fact it's so ingrained in the SPLP that a new leader is all they need to fix things, " he said.

Scott Rogers, who has been a key figure in coordinating many of the party's campaigns in West Lothian, said he was concerned about the effect of a further leadership battle on Scottish Labour's activist base.

Some also drew comparisions with the 2016 bid to oust Corbyn after the EU referendum, saying Labour wasted months on party infighting rather than dealing with the result.

Speaking to The Red Robin, Scottish Labour councillor Robert Foster said: "Spending the summer arguing about a new leadership election is the last thing Scottish Labour needs. We should be spending that time having the difficult conversation on where we go from Sunday’s result. A change in Leader is not an answer to the complex question of the EU and how we can bring a polarised country together. This is a time for cool heads to prevail if we are to continue as the voice of working class people across Scotland."

Despite rumours that several of his own MSPs are looking to oust him, Richard Leonard is resolute that he won't resign and instead called for unity as he attempted to reach out to voters in Scotland. 

Image: Scottish Labour

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  • Stephen Sheach
    commented 2019-05-30 12:07:36 +0100
    At the Eastwood AGM, I made the point that comparing the latest results with 2014, is comparing with the period led by Johann Lamont and that, in reality, comparison should be with the total wipe-out under the leadership of one J Murphy esq. Lead balloon.
  • Frances Lilley
    commented 2019-05-28 19:54:47 +0100
    Most MPs currently elected are in place because of the success of Labour with Jeremy Corbyn as Leader. Every Election the challengers wait like vultures to roll out the same stunts. Wearing very thin now and a complete waste of Members Hard Work & Donations. If votes are lost it is because of this incessant squabbling.
  • @redrobinscot tweeted this page. 2019-05-28 18:53:04 +0100
    The Scottish Labour grassroots have resisted a rumoured challenge to Richard Leonard's leadership