The new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale had suggested on Sunday that Labour MSPs could be free to campaign for independence, while insisting that “I cannot accept that there will automatically and inevitably be another referendum on independence”. People clearly exercised their vote in the ballot box anyway.
“For Sturgeon to come back now to say to us this should be discussed is a little bit rich, given that her MPs sat on other hands at second reading [of the Scotland bill]”.
He drew a distinction between the party having an internal debate on the Union and its leading parliamentarians being allowed to publicly campaign for separation.
Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Conservatives joined forces in the last referendum to campaign as Better Together – but it now seems unlikely there would be a repeat of that campaign in the event of another referendum, with the Conservatives being the only main party which is prepared to hold a firm anti-independence party line.
Sturgeon wrote to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, on Wednesday to ask him to back a Scottish National party effort to devolve trade union and employment law from Westminster to Holyrood.
“So, I want to lead a Labour Party that is comfortable with people who voted Yes and No backing our values of creating a fair and more equal society for everyone”.
“Instead of making political points about amendments that are not going to get past because of the Tory majority in the Commons, she should be using the powers they have got over services that her government is directly in control of,” one unnamed source said. “I am asking Labour now to change its position and support us on that”.
“We should have a democratic debate within our party over the big issues of the day, whether that be Trident or anything else”.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has said her members’ views on Scottish independence are “irrelevant” to her efforts to create a fairer and more equal society.
“The party’s weakness on this key constitutional issue is astounding”.
“With latest polls showing record support for the SNP, it is clear people in Scotland are continuing to put their trust in us as we approach next year’s Scottish Parliament election”.