Falkirk - the row which simply won't go away
- 5 November 2013
- From the section UK Politics
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He is not calling for Labour's inquiry report into Falkirk to be published since he believes it is now out of date and, in any case, the evidence was given under guarantees of confidentiality.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?