Scotland politics

Scottish Labour figures urge Jeremy Corbyn to 'step aside'

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright AFP

More than 200 Scottish Labour politicians and members have signed an open letter calling for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down.

The signatures include MSP Daniel Johnson and ex-shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran.

The move comes after Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said she would quit if she had suffered the same loss of support as Mr Corbyn.

The letter said "for the good of the party" Corbyn "must step aside".

Councillor Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council, MEP Catherine Stihler, Jamie Glackin, the former chairman of the Scottish Labour Party, and Gordon Matheson, former leader of Glasgow City Council, joined numerous councillors and activists in urging Mr Corbyn to go.

''No confidence'

The letter states: "With the crisis engulfing the country in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union it is clear that we need an effective Labour opposition to hold this Government to account and to, ultimately, be in government again.

"The Labour Party was formed to provide a voice for working people in Parliament and to form governments that can further the interests of the majority of working people. It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn cannot provide that leadership.

"The leader of the Labour Party must have the confidence of the MPs they lead in Parliament. With Tuesday's vote of no confidence, it is clear that no longer exists.

"We hear time and time again from ordinary people up and down the country that they cannot see Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.

"We need a credible, competent opposition, but Jeremy Corbyn is currently unable to fill all positions on his front bench.

"Jeremy Corbyn wants to captain a ship for which he has no crew. For the good of the party and, more importantly, the country, he must step aside."

'Factional politics'

The signatories also declare support for MP Ian Murray's decision to resign from his post of shadow Scottish secretary under Mr Corbyn.

It followed an earlier open letter to Mr Murray from 80 Scottish Labour figures, including Elaine Smith MSP, condemning him for handing a "gift" to the SNP and Tories, and supporting Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley for criticising the MP for Edinburgh South.

It stated: "We are absolutely astonished that you have chosen this moment to put factional party politics over getting the best outcome for the people of Scotland."

Signatories to that letter included Scottish Labour councillors, the executive committee of Scottish Young Labour and members of Mr Murray's own constituency Labour party.

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