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Mon, 6 April 2020

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By Dods General Election Hub 2019

Labour urged to close loophole after SNP politician gets vote in leadership contest

Labour urged to close loophole after SNP politician gets vote in leadership contest
2 min read

Labour bosses have been urged to close a loophole which saw a senior SNP politician given a vote in the party's leadership election.


Deputy leadership candidate Ian Murray said confidence in the process "will be shattered" unless immediate action is taken.

The Daily Record revealed that George Adam, the SNP’s chief whip in the Scottish Parliament, had received a ballot paper because he is a member of Unite, which is affiliated to the Labour Party.

Labour say they were aware of the issue, and the MSP has now been “removed from the system and is not eligible to vote”.

Since the start of the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson, around 103,000 affiliates have been added to the leadership electorate, the majority of them members of Unite, which has endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon.

Mr Murray has written to Labour general secretary, Jennie Formby, calling for the party to demand evidence from Unite about every single affiliate voter.

He said: “Without urgent measures to ensure that every voter shares Labour’s values in line with the rules, all confidence in the leadership elections will be shattered.

"Affiliate voters and registered supporters must now be re-checked to ensure that only those who have formally signed or affirmed they share Labour’s values have a vote on the future of our party.

"This is a huge task, but now a necessary one."

He added: “SNP politicians clearly do not share Labour’s values of solidarity and internationalism, and nobody who is a member of the SNP – or any other party – should be participating in this ballot.

“It is grossly unfair on party members and dedicated trade unionists who proudly support the Labour movement.

"The party must guarantee that no member of any another party has a vote, and that means demanding that Unite produces evidence that every affiliate it has signed up shares Labour values.”

A spokesperson for Labour said: “The Labour Party has robust processes in place to safeguard the integrity of the leadership elections.

“This individual has been removed from the system and is not eligible to vote.”

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