Falkirk - the row which simply won't go away

You just can't leave matters as they are. So said Alistair Darling - perhaps Labour's most prominent and trusted Scottish MP.

The former chancellor was calling for a full inquiry into allegations that people were signed up to the Labour Party without their knowledge by supporters of Unite the union as it sought to control the selection of the next MP for Falkirk.

Yesterday one of the families at the heart of the allegations told the Daily Mail and separately the BBC that they had not changed their original claims about wrongdoing in Falkirk.

However, Labour HQ say that there is no new evidence and that that same family - the Kanes - are sticking to their later statement signed in front of solicitors which suggested there hadn't been wrongdoing. Thus, the party says there is not new evidence to justify re-opening their original inquiry.

Ed Miliband has had a good run and would, no doubt, like this story to go away so he can focus on the next election.

However, Alistair Darling, who is running the Better Together (or NO) campaign ahead of the Scottish referendum, senses that it will not go away on its own.

He is not calling for Labour's inquiry report into Falkirk to be published since he believes it is now out of date and, in any case, the evidence was given under guarantees of confidentiality.

What he is saying is that Labour should start a new inquiry if a second police investigation now under way does not lead to prosecutions.

The question is - will he persuade his party leader?

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

What a difference a day makes

In just 24 hours, Sir Malcolm Rifkind went from angry defiance to a grim-faced acceptance that he would have to quit his job as an MP and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Read full article

More on This Story

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.