Wednesday, 31 August 2016

UK Labour Leadership Contender Tells Scottish Leader: Westminster Trumps Scotland

"Car Crash Interview" Shows Labour Out of Touch with Scotland

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has insisted that the Westminster party should ignore Scottish Labour on Trident renewal – while claiming that promises made prior to the independence referendum were “contingent on Labour being in power”.

In a car-crash interview on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Smith also described income-tax rates as “non-devolved”, despite them being devolved under the Scotland Act.

Just days after former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the Scotland Act was now out of date and that Scotland should receive full Home Rule, Mr Smith said that the “nature of devolution” was that Scottish Labour’s positions would be trumped by Westminster.

Mr Smith also said that it was for the Scottish people to determine whether there should be a second independence referendum – in direct contradiction of Scottish Labour’s manifesto commitment to oppose a new referendum.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald said:

“This car crash interview shows just how out of touch Labour is with Scotland – with a potential party leader seemingly unaware of Scottish Labour policy and ignorant of what is and isn’t devolved.

“Owen Smith is completely at odds with Scottish Labour on a second referendum and on Trident – and this is the candidate backed by Kezia Dugdale – but we welcome a Labour voice acknowledging that it is ultimately for the Scottish people to decide on a second referendum.

“But what’s most galling is that Mr Smith brushed off the promises made to the people of Scotland on EU membership and on shipbuilding during the independence referendum campaign saying that these were ‘contingent’ on Labour being in power.

“Such a dismissive attitude to these broken promises only reminds people in Scotland that Labour campaigned shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories during the referendum – a fact that has haunted Labour ever since and which will continue to do so.”
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