It's Corbyn for Kirkcaldy Labour group

Kirkcaldy has backed Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour party's leadership contest.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 3:00 pm
Kezia Dugdal united with Jeremy Corbyn in the run-up to the Scottish Parliamentary election then later called on him to resign. Pic Greg Macvean

The Kirkcaldy constituency Labour party joins a list of 153 CLPs across the UK to support Corbyn, including Edinburgh North and Leith and Glasgow Kelvin.

His leadership challenger, Owen Smith has the backing of just 25 CLPs, including East Lothian.

Kirkcaldy Cllr Neil Crooks explained: “We need to get back to core values and allow people an opportunity to understand what the Labour party stands for.

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“The voice in Scotland has changed so much, it has become lost and people are confused.”

Following the Brexit vote, Fife MSP Alex Rowley called for colleagues to unite around Corbyn in a bid to protect a country “brought to the brink of disaster” by the referendum result.

His stance defied that of Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dudgale who earlier called on Corbyn to resign after MPs passed a no confidence motion by 172 votes to 40 at Westminster.

Challenger Owen Smith, MP for Pontyprid, last week warned the Labour party was teetering on the edge of a precipice and could “bust apart and disappear” if Corbyn was re-elected.

However, Cllr Crooks commented: “There are factions in every party – who do these MPs think they are?”

Cllr Crooks revealed he had personally written to Owen Smith, citing the quote “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” from George Orwell’s Animal Farm – a warning of the hypocrisy of governments which proclaim equality of citizens but give power to an elite.

“It’s a lesson, if you believe in equality, justice and the Labour agenda, in improving the workplace, upholding ethics,” he said.

“Jeremy Corbyn has a proper moral attitude. He says what he believes in and offers the kind of leadership that people will get behind in big numbers.”

Corbyn’s support on the ground was without dispute given membership had tripled to over half a million recently, Cllr Crooks added.

“MPs attempting to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn should remember they represent the very members who put them forward for election.”

He continued: “I cannot believe that so many MPs are above the views of the people who pay money to the Labour movement, not just the Labour party.”

Cllr Crooks said he believed the Labour party had a viable future across Britain, and in Scotland for voters “crying out” for an alternative to the SNP.

The party’s manifesto for the last Scottish parliamentary election had “synergy” with the SNP’s but there was a “lack of confidence” to carry that through to a mass vote.

“There has been a lack of clear leadership; there’s been a constant change of voice and that’s confused the public,” said Cllr Crooks.

“Corbyn has an appeal and a very clear view of what the Labour party is, how it should operate and what it stands for.”

CLPs can give supporting nominations but have no direct consequence on the race .

They do, however, provide an early indictaion of how the nominees are faring across the country at large.