The UK Labour leader Keir Starmer was back in the central belt to meet drinks industry figures in the capital before stopping off to rubbish the Scottish Parliament and all the SNP have done to protect the most deprived in our communities from Tory austerity he also managed to find his way to the Rutherglen and Hamilton West campaign.
Trying to boost the Local candidate he claimed anyone trying to find division between Scottish and UK Labour will have a “long, long search”. Well, I think he needs to get a new pair of glasses as the party north and south of the border has expressed different positions in recent months, particularly around the two-child benefit cap and gender reform.
Sir Keir is also facing pressure from his own party colleagues in Aberdeen to meet industry figures in the city after a major backlash over his energy strategy. The plans, unveiled two months ago, suggest a ban on future oil and gas licences with investment instead targeted towards cleaner energy.
It is understood the Labour leader still intends to meet his promise to visit the northeast “this summer “
Former Labour leader of Aberdeen City Council Barney Crockett sensationally quit Scottish Labour in June over Keir’s oil and gas policy, and on Sir Keir’s decision not to visit the north-east this week, he said: The message to Aberdeen is very clear. It’s drop dead as far as he’s concerned The people of Aberdeen and the north-east deserve answers. It’s scandalous that he has been avoiding Aberdeen for so long and locally, Labour supporters will be relieved that he’s decided to stay away a north-east MSP added. because the last time he made a proclamation, safely holed up in the central belt, it rocked tens of thousands of North Sea oil and gas jobs.
Kirsty Blackman, SNP MP for Aberdeen North, said: “Barney Crockett is absolutely right and as a former Labour leader of Aberdeen City Council, this is a withering assessment of Sir Keir Starmer’s attitude to the north-east.
“For decades, Labour and Tory governments have syphoned off billions of pounds from Scotland’s natural resources and hoarded it to the Treasury – it seems Sir Keir Starmer is all too happy to follow suit, snubbing our region entirely.
“His ruinous plans for the north-east’s energy sector will decimate jobs and investment in the region, jeopardising the Scottish Government’s efforts to secure a just transition – it could not be more clear, that Scotland needs energy independence, not more Westminster control.”
Councillor Tauqeer Malik, leader of Aberdeen City Council’s Labour group, said his party is simply focused on winning the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election. The party hope to overturn the SNP’s majority as part of their bid to win the next general election.
Stephen Flynn MP, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, hit out claiming Sir Keir had failed to assure voters during his trip north of the border that he would revisit existing policies such as the two-child benefit cap and the bedroom tax if he became prime minister.
Sir Keir rebuffed suggestions of a clash with Scottish party members who oppose the cap, Flynn also accused Scottish Labour of frequently changing its position on policies which he claimed would make people question whether further devolution was possible under Labour rule should the party gain the most seats at Westminster in the next general election. Time for the people of Scotland to send a message to the UK Labour Party by voting for the SNP in the next General Election