By Martin Kelly
The Scottish Labour party is now nothing more than a puppet regime controlled by London the Scottish National Party has claimed.
The allegation follows claims in a Scottish newspaper that a confidential report into 'irregularities' over Labour party membership numbers in Falkirk has not been passed to the party's Scottish governing body.

According to the Sunday Herald, Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee was by-passed by party bosses in London who are dealing with the internal warfare surrounding the selection of a candidate for the Falkirk Westminster seat. 

Labour in Scotland are described as 'virtual bystanders' while the leadership in Westminster takes control, with a party source reportedly making clear that "London is now back in charge".

The party are currently engaged in a bitter war of words with Unite over claims the union has flooded the local party with new members in an attempt at ensuring their own preferred candidate is selected to replace the disgraced MP Eric Joyce, something the union denies with their head Len McCLuskey accusing Labour of conducting a smear campaign.

An investigation was carried out by the UK Labour party, but the findings have been kept from officials north of the border.

The revelation comes as it is also reported that Scottish Labour's former finance spokesman Ken Macintosh paid the price in Friday’s reshuffle for giving voice to the considerable disquiet that Johann Lamont’s infamous 'something for nothing' speech, and her public spending review dubbed the 'Cuts Commission', have caused.

Mr Macintosh is reported to have refused a demotion and was subsequently sacked by the Scottish Labour leader.  His replacement is Ms Lamont's predecessor Iain Gray.

Commenting, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said:

"So much for an autonomous Scottish Labour party.  It suggests that there is a real lack of faith in Labour's Scottish Executive if they have been by-passed by party bosses in Westminster.

"Johann Lamont claimed that she was leader of all parts of the Labour party in Scotland, but this would suggest that her leadership is tenuous at best if Westminster is still calling the shots.

"And on her reshuffle and the sacking of Ken MacIntosh Johann Lamont's now infamous 'something for nothing speech' continues to haunt her.

"By adopting Tory mantras and trying to abandon the progress that has been achieved with devolution, she has sown division within the ranks of her own party.

"The continuing fallout from this reshuffle shows that there is major internal disquiet with her leadership which has no doubt been exacerbated by disappointment about her failure to make progress in opinion polls or in the recent Donside by-election.

"With her grip on her party crumbling and open disagreements over the direction she is going in, the questions will only increase about Johann Lamont’s leadership over the Summer."

The row between Labour and Unite, which is one of the party's biggest donors, threatens to damage the party a former minister has warned.

Kim Howells has urged Ed Miliband to take action over the Falkirk civil war in order to prevent Labour being seen as a party of "vested interests".

Mr Howells told BBC Radio 4's The World this Weekend that the Falkirk row had exposed what he described as "special interest politics" which was part of what he called an "old order".

He added: "if Labour's going to win another general election and win cleanly, then it's got to change its constitution and its way of selecting candidates".

[Newsnet announcement - The Scottish Parliament is currently in its summer recess.  As a result Newsnet Scotland will be slowing down during the month of July.

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On Duggy Dug; Please donate to this project, we believe it has the potential to make a significant impact in the referendum debate.]


# UpSpake 2013-07-01 06:53
So, the penny drops. None of the Unionist parties is 'independent' and any attempt to portray them otherwise is a sham There is no 'Scottish Labour'. This title is an accounting unit of the Labour Party in London according to the Electoral Commission.
Their pumped up sense of self importance is mere window dressing, same goes for the 1 MP.
Independence is a challenge for the hearts and minds of Scots against the depressing onslaught from the London PR machine aka BBC Scotland.
# xyz 2013-07-01 06:59
I doubt that Labour in Scotland are in any way embarrassed, as control from London is what they live for. They are content to be treated as second rate politicians. They are too stupid to run a country after all.
# mudfries 2013-07-01 07:09
"Back" in control? they always have been! there is no such thing as a Scottish Labour party.
# Al Ghaf 2013-07-01 07:30
No pride in themselves, little wonder they have no pride in Scotland.
# Davy 2013-07-01 13:53
Quoting Al Ghaf:
No pride in themselves, little wonder they have no pride in Scotland.

"Al Ghaf", I believe you have struck a cord there ! how can you have pride in yourself and the people you represent if all your orders and party direction comes from another country.

How can you build up that selfworth which helps generate the character and sprite of a nation if you continuely have to kowtow to people from outside your own country, and even worse you dont attempt seperate the aspirations and hopes of your own nation from those of a foreign controled political party.

Scottish-Labour, no guts, no vision, no pride.

Saor Alba.
# Abulhaq 2013-07-01 08:12
There is no such thing as the "Scottish Labour party". The branch in Scotland is not autonomous in the real sense of the term. Any dalliance with ideas not approved of by Westminster Central is scotched forthwith. As a "party" it has no credibility in the Scottish political system being a rather ungainly cuckoo in our nest.
# Johnston 2013-07-01 08:24
They have no independent thought, thus the reason they are void of ideas and follow London Labours right wing policies in cahoots with the Tories. These policies have demonstrated to be harmfull to Scotland. The Scottish Labour party should be getting back to their roots.
# call me dave 2013-07-01 09:38
Now !
This is a scare story for those blissfully unaware and who still see 'Scottish labour'as the way to make their lives better.

Red tories & blue tories all directing the money from London.
Vote no lose your country we only get one crack at this.
# fergie73 2013-07-01 10:11
Mr Howells told BBC Radio 4's The World this Weekend that the Falkirk row had exposed what he described as "special interest politics" which was part of what he called an "old order".

I'm baffled by this story, and how it fits (if it does) with the independence issue. London Labour are trying to stamp authority back onto the party, where a big union is deemed to have tried to take over via entry-ism. But the Unions fund Labour.

Is this kind of thing peculiar to Scotland, perhaps because the numbers are now so low here? Or is it a problem across the whole UK? Either way, stamping on it in a Scottish constituency seems to be playing with fire as the unions here do have an alternative, both for their support and their funding.

There are vested interests and "old orders" in Labour well beyond the unions. London is one of them.
# proudscot 2013-07-01 10:13
London HQ has always been in charge of the Scottish Labour Group in Holyrood. Their attitude towards their Scottish Group leader can be summed up as, "If I want your opinion on anything, I'll tell you what it is!"
# James01 2013-07-01 11:32
The problem with statements the SNP make is that they rarely get any coverage in the media, whereas ridiculous stories put out by the NO camp like the mobile phone one yesterday get wall to wall coverage.
# RoBell 2013-07-01 12:10
It is time the Labour For Independence went back to their roots and re-establish a truly Left leaning party committed to social justice, protection of the workers, the poor and vulnerable. This needs to be a party of transparency - they could use the model established by Kier Hardie; call it the Independent Labour Party.
# Roll_On_2011 2013-07-01 12:47
Captain Darling warning Scots of voting NO in 2014 (from September last year).

“ If you want anything more than a fairly minor change to the constitutional arrangement then at some point, you are going to have to ask the rest of the UK, which means that all the parties in a general election would have to have in their manifesto what they would intend to do. At the moment, this question has been confined to north of the border but once you go a little bit further then you are going to have to engage with the rest of the UK, which is rather different debate to the one we have had so far but firstly, we have to decide in our own house, in Scotland, what we are going to do.”

What jam you get after voting NO will be determined by England (Westmidden).
# CapnAndy 2013-07-01 13:11
It's interesting. Over the past few weeks I cannot remember seeing the leader of SLAB being interviewed or asked to comment on any subject covered by the MSM.I could be wrong, but she wasn't even asked to comment on her own reshuffle. She seems to be at present, the invisible leader.
One oddity I did notice was that she was referred to on the evening news as Ms Lamont, which is a departure from the normal BBC use of her Christian name.
Coats and shoogly pegs come to mind.
# X_Sticks 2013-07-01 13:34
The MSM and especially the bbc's northern outpost has done a superb job of keeping Lamont out of the limelight. It must be seen as necessary as she is so utterly useless at spontaneous interviews. She probably needs a whole week to learn her 10 minute First Ministers questions and is still hopeless at the delivery.

As for the London control of the "Scottish" Labour it has never gone away. The only time that London control wavered was Wendy's "bring it on", and we saw how long she lasted after that!

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