Scottish Labour Party


Scottish Labour Party
Scottish Labour Party
Pàrtaidh Làbarach na h-Alba
Scottis Labour Pairty
Holyrood Group Leader Iain Gray
Holyrood Group Deputy Leader Johann Lamont
General Secretary Colin Smyth
Founded 1909[citation needed]
Headquarters John Smith House
145 West Regent Street
Glasgow
G2 4RE
Student wing Scottish Labour Students
Membership 13,135[1]
Ideology Social democracy[2], Trade Unionism, Socialism (Historical)
Political position Centre-left, Unionist
International affiliation Socialist International
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament Group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Official colours Red
House of Commons
Scottish Parliament
European Parliament
Local government in Scotland
Website
http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/
Politics of Scotland
Political parties
Elections

The Scottish Labour Party (SLP; branded Scottish Labour)[3] (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Làbarach na h-Alba) is the section of the British Labour Party which operates in Scotland.

The party had held a long dominance over modern Scottish politics, having won the largest share of the vote in Scotland at every UK general election since the 1960s,[4] every European Parliament general election from 1979 until defeated by the SNP in 2009, and in the first two elections to the Scottish Parliament, held in 1999 and 2003. For each of these two terms, Scottish Labour entered into a coalition with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, forming a majority Scottish Executive. In the 2007 Scottish Parliament election the Scottish Labour Party fell back to become the second largest party, with a lower share of the vote and with one fewer seat than the Scottish National Party (SNP), who subsequently formed a minority government. It fell back further but remained the second largest party after the 2011 Scottish Parliament election while the SNP advanced to form the first majority government since a Scottish Parliament was re-established in 1999. Scottish Labour currently hold 37 of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament, 41 of 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons and 2 of 6 Scottish seats in the European Parliament.

Contents

Organisation

The Scottish Labour Party is formally part of the Labour Party and is registered as an Accounting Unit (AU) with the Electoral Commission. It is not a separately registered party under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. As such the SLP does not have an official "Leader of the Scottish Labour Party", although the constitutional position of Leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament (analogous to the Westminster Parliamentary Labour Party) is considered the de facto Scottish Labour leader.

Scottish Executive Committee

The Scottish Labour Party is administered by the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC), which is responsible to the Labour Party's National Executive Committee (NEC).

The Scottish Executive Committee is made up of representatives of party members, elected members and party affiliates, for example, trade unions and socialist societies.

Party Officers:

  • Chairperson: Philomena Muggins
  • Vice-Chairperson: Victoria Jamieson
  • Registered Treasurer (and General Secretary): Colin Smyth

Leader of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament

Scottish General Secretary

As with Welsh Labour, the Scottish Labour Party has its own general secretary which is the administrative head of the party, responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, and reports to the UK General Secretary of the Labour Party.

The current Scottish General Secretary is Colin Smyth, who succeeded Lesley Quinn in 2008. Quinn had been in the position since November 1999.[5]

Headquarters

In accordance with the Labour Party Rule Book, the Labour Party operates a regional party office at John Smith House, 145 West Regent Street, in the Blythswood Hill district of Glasgow.

Conference

The party holds an annual conference during February/March each year.

Membership

In March 2006 the Scottish Labour Party membership had fallen to 18,800 members, down from a peak of approximately 30,000 in the run-up to the 1997 general election.[6]

In September 2010, according to the number of ballot papers issued to party members during the Labour Party (UK) leadership election it emerged that the party had 13,135 members in Scotland.[1]

According to the accounts it submitted to the Electoral Commission the party had an income of £396,195 in 2008.[7] The total annual income of the party in 2005, as registered with the Electoral Commission,[8] was £523,523 (up from £318,609 in 2004), with assets of £169,502.

History

The Labour Party campaigned for the creation of a devolved Scottish Parliament as part of its wider policy of a devolved United Kingdom. In the late 1980s and 1990s it and its representatives participated in the Scottish Constitutional Convention with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Scottish Green Party, trades unions and churches, and also campaigned for a "Yes-Yes" vote in the 1997 referendum.

1999-2007 Lib–Lab pact & coalition

In the first elections to the Scottish Parliament on 6 May 1999, the Scottish Labour Party, led by Donald Dewar, won 56 seats out of 129, well ahead of their main opponents, the SNP under Alex Salmond, with 35 seats. Not having a majority in Parliament, the party formed a coalition government with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, with Dewar agreeing to their demand for the abolition of up-front tuition fees for university students as the price for a coalition deal. Consequently, on 13 May, Dewar was nominated as First Minister, and was officially appointed by the Queen on 17 May at a ceremony in Holyrood Palace. He later travelled to the Court of Session to be sworn in by the Lord President and receive the Great Seal of Scotland.

In April 2000, Dewar was admitted to hospital for tests on his heart, following a previous test where a minor irregularity was discovered. In May 2000, he later had surgery to repair a leaking heart valve, and was forced to take a three month break from Parliament, with Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace taking over as Acting First Minister. On 10 October 2000, Dewar sustained a fall. He seemed fine at first but later that day suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage which was possibly triggered by the anticoagulant medication he was taking after the heart surgery. Donald Dewar died 11 October in Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

After Dewar's death, Henry McLeish was elected as Leader of Scottish Labour, defeating rival Jack McConnell, 27 October 2000 but resigned in 2001 amid a scandal involving the renting of his constituency office and allegations of financial wrongdoings. McLeish felt his resignation would allow the Scottish Labour Party a clean break to prepare for the 2003 Parliamentary elections.

After McLeish's resignation, Jack McConnell quickly emerged as the only candidate, and was elected First Minister by the Parliament on 22 November 2001.

2007 Scottish Parliament elections and aftermath

In the run-up to the 2007 Scottish Parliament general election, McConnell was criticised by many inside and outside of the Labour party for his role in the party's poor start to the campaign with Labour solidly behind the Scottish National Party (SNP) in many opinion polls. On April 10, McConnell unveiled Scottish Labour's election manifesto, which included plans to scrap (?) bills for pensioners and reform Council Tax. The manifesto also proposed a large increase in public spending on education, which would allow the increasing of the school leaving age to 18 and a reduction in average class sizes to 19.

McConnell's ruling Labour Party was defeated by the SNP, both in terms of the popular vote and in numbers of seats. The SNP won 47 seats in the new parliament, whilst the Labour Party won 46, thus securing them a one-seat majority over Labour, but still well short of a majority of the parliament. On 15 August 2007, McConnell announced his intention to resign as Scottish Labour leader.

On 17 August 2007, Wendy Alexander formally launched her campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party in Holyrood. As the only candidate, Alexander was installed as leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament on 14 September 2007. In 2007, a funding scandal developed after it emerged that she had accepted an illegal donation from Paul Green, a property magnate, a matter that was investigated by the Electoral Commission. Further newspaper reports on 30 November indicated Alexander was aware of the identity of the donor, after having sent a personal letter of gratitude to Mr Green (at his home in the tax haven of Jersey) concerning the donation. Accepting a donation from someone who is not registered on the UK electoral roll is illegal under electoral law, and is subject to criminal prosecution. However, the Electoral Commission concluded in February 2008 that Alexander had taken 'significant steps' to comply with funding regulations and decided not to refer the matter to the Procurator Fiscal. In a separate development, a few days earlier in February 2008, the standards watchdog for Scotland reported Wendy Alexander to the Procurator Fiscal for failing to publicly declare campaign donations.

During a TV interview on 4 May 2008, Wendy Alexander performed a major U-turn on previous Scottish Labour Party's policy by seeming to endorse a referendum on Scottish independence, despite previously refusing to support any referendum on the grounds that she did not support independence. During a further TV interview on 6 May 2008 she reiterated this commitment to a referendum and claimed that she had the full backing of current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The following day, Gordon Brown denied this was Labour policy and that Wendy Alexander had been misrepresented during Prime Minister's Questions in Westminster. Despite this lack of backing, Wendy Alexander once again reiterated her commitment to a referendum during First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament.

On 28 June 2008, Wendy Alexander announced her resignation as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, due to pressure on her following the donation scandal. Cathy Jamieson became interim leader of the Scottish Labour Party until a leadership election could be held.

2008 Glasgow East by-election

In late June 2008, David Marshall, MP for the Glasgow East constituency since 1979, resigned on health grounds. The resignation was sudden, however the seat was the 3rd safest Labour seat in the country and at the Westminster general election in 2005, Labour had a 13,057 majority over second placed SNP. In the resultant by-election on 24 July 2008, SNP candidate, serving Glasgow City Council member John Mason managed a spectacular 22.5% swing in the nationalists' favour to win the seat.

Iain Gray becomes leader

On 1 August 2008, the contest for the new Leader of the Scottish Labour Party began. The contenders were Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, a former Enterprise Minister in the previous Labour Executive, Andy Kerr, MSP for East Kilbride and former Health Secretary in the previous administration, and Cathy Jamieson MSP, who had been deputy leader under Jack McConnell and caretaker leader since Wendy Alexander resigned following the illegal donation scandal.

On 13 September 2008, Iain Gray was elected leader and promised a "fresh start" for Labour in Scotland.

2008 Glenrothes by-election

On 13 August 2008, Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Glenrothes in Fife, John MacDougall died, triggering a by-election in a constituency that neighboured both the constituency of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, and the constituency of Dunfermline and West Fife that had been won by the Liberal Democrats in a by-election in 2006. In the event, Labour held the parliamentary seat, increasing their vote by 3.2%. Lindsay Roy became Labour MP for the constituency, on 7 November 2008, defeating the SNP's candidate, Peter Grant, current council leader in Fife, in what was viewed by many as a surprise. Grant had been widely fancied to take the seat and after their stunning success in Glasgow East the SNP were disappointed. The voting was: Lindsay Roy, Labour, 19,946; Peter Grant, SNP 13,209. The Conservative Party which came 3rd with 1,381 votes, the Liberal Democrats with 947 votes and four other candidates lost their deposits.[9]

2010 UK general election

On 6 May 2010, contrary to polls preceding the election, Labour consolidated their vote in Scotland, losing no seats (despite losing 91 seats across the rest of Britain) and recovering Glasgow East from the SNP. This resulted in incumbent Scottish secretary Jim Murphy stating that the result provided an impetus for Scottish Labour to attempt to become "the biggest party in Holyrood" in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.[10]

After the Glenrothes election, controversy and speculation mounted after it was revealed the voting register had gone missing and an unusual number of postal votes.[11]

2011 Scottish Parliament election

The Scottish Labour Party lost seven seats compared to the notional 2007 result although its share of the constituency vote declined by less than 1%. Party leader Iain Gray announced that he would be resigning with effect from later in the year.

2011 Inverclyde by-election

The seat of Inverclyde was held by David Cairns until his death on 9 May 2011. The resulting by-election held on 30 June, was won comfortably with a 5,838 majority by Scottish Labour candidate Iain McKenzie despite several high profile campaign visits by SNP First Minister, Alex Salmond and the SNP coming within 511 votes of winning the nearest equivalent seat in the Holyrood elections a matter of weeks previously. Coupled with the 2010 UK General Election results, this suggests that Scottish Labour's disappointing performance in the 2011 Scottish Parliament Election does not necessarily translate into support for its political opponents in other elections.

2011 Scottish Labour Leadership election and Murphy/Boyack Review

Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack are co-chairing the review of the Labour Party in Scotland, commissioned by Ed Miliband in May 2011, and due to report in the autumn of 2011.

Scottish Labour elected representatives (current)

House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

Scottish Labour party MPs in the Official Opposition Frontbench:
Shadow Cabinet
Other official shadow ministers
  • Russell Brown, Shadow Minister for Defence (International Security Strategy)
  • Gemma Doyle, Shadow Minister for Defence (Personnel, Welfare and Veterans)
  • Mark Lazarowicz, Shadow Minister for International Development
  • Gordon Banks, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Margaret Curran, Shadow Minister for Disability
  • Willie Bain, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Tom Greatrex, Shadow Minister for Scotland
Parliamentary Private Secretaries
  • Anne McGuire, PPS to the Leader of the Opposition (Ed Miliband)
  • Graeme Morrice, PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (John Denham)
  • Pamela Nash, PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland (Ann McKechin) and to Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward)

Members of Parliament

Member of Parliament Constituency First elected Notes
Douglas Alexander Paisley and Renfrewshire South 1997 Member for Paisley South 1997-2005, Paisley and Renfrewshire South 2005-
Willie Bain Glasgow North East 2009
Gordon Banks Ochil and South Perthshire 2005
Anne Begg Aberdeen South 1997
Gordon Brown Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 1983 Member for Dunfermline and East Fife 1983-2005, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath 2005-
Russell Brown Dumfries and Galloway 1997 Member for Dumfries 1997-2005, Dumfries and Galloway 2005-
Katy Clark Ayrshire North and Arran 2005
Tom Clarke Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 1982 Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie 1982-83, Monklands West 1983-97, Coatbridge and Chryston 1997-2005, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 2005-
Michael Connarty Linlithgow and Falkirk East 1992 Member for Falkirk East 1992-2005, Linlithgow and Falkirk East 2005-
Margaret Curran Glasgow East 2010 MSP for Glasgow Baillieston 1999-2011
Alistair Darling Edinburgh South West 1987 Member for Edinburgh Central 1987-2005, Edinburgh South West 2005-
Ian Davidson Glasgow South West 1992 Member for Glasgow Govan 1992-1997, Glasgow Pollok 1997-2005, Glasgow South West 2005-
Thomas Docherty Dunfermline and West Fife 2010
Brian Donohoe Central Ayrshire 1992 Member for Cunninghame South 1992-2005, Central Ayrshire 2005-
Frank Doran Aberdeen North 1987 Member for Aberdeen South 1987-1992, Aberdeen Central 1997-2005, Aberdeen North 2005-
Gemma Doyle West Dunbartonshire 2010
Sheila Gilmore Edinburgh East 2010
Tom Greatrex Rutherglen and Hamilton West 2010
David Hamilton Midlothian 2001
Tom Harris Glasgow South 2001 Member for Glasgow Cathcart 2001-05, Glasgow South 2005-
Jimmy Hood Lanark and Hamilton East 1987 Member for Clydesdale 1987-2005, Lanark and Hamilton East 2005-
Cathy Jamieson Kilmarnock and Loudoun 2010 MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 1999-2011
Eric Joyce Falkirk 2000 Member for Falkirk West 2000-05, Falkirk 2005-
Mark Lazarowicz Edinburgh North and Leith 2001
Michael McCann East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow 2010
Gregg McClymont Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East 2010
Jim McGovern Dundee West 2005
Anne McGuire Stirling 1997
Ann McKechin Glasgow North 2001 Member for Glasgow Maryhill 2001-05, Glasgow North 2005-
Iain McKenzie Inverclyde 2011
Graeme Morrice Livingston 2010
Jim Murphy East Renfrewshire 1997 Member for Eastwood 1997-2005, East Renfrewshire 2005-
Ian Murray Edinburgh South 2010
Pamela Nash Airdrie and Shotts 2010
Fiona O’Donnell East Lothian 2010
John Robertson Glasgow North West 2000 Member for Glasgow Anniesland 2000-05, Glasgow North West 2005-
Frank Roy Motherwell and Wishaw 1997
Lindsay Roy Glenrothes 2008
Anas Sarwar Glasgow Central 2010
Jim Sheridan Paisley and Renfrewshire North 2001 Member for West Renfrewshire 2001-05, Paisley and Renfrewshire North 2005-

Scottish Parliament

Front-bench team (Shadow Cabinet (Scottish Government))
  • Iain Gray - Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament
  • Johann Lamont - Deputy Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice
  • Richard Baker - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth
  • Jackie Baillie - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy
  • Ken Macintosh - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Lewis Macdonald - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment
  • Paul Martin - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business
  • John Park - Opposition Chief Whip
  • Michael McMahon - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government
  • Sarah Boyack - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment
  • Patricia Ferguson - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs

Members of the Scottish Parliament

Member of the Scottish Parliament Constituency or Region First elected Notes
Jackie Baillie Dumbarton 1999
Claire Baker Mid Scotland and Fife 2007
Richard Baker North East Scotland 2003
Claudia Beamish South of Scotland 2011
Neil Bibby West of Scotland 2011
Sarah Boyack Lothians 1999 Member for Edinburgh Central 1999-2011, Lothians 2011-
Malcolm Chisholm Edinburgh North and Leith 1999 MP for Edinburgh Leith 1992-1997, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith 1997-2001
Kezia Dugdale Lothians 2011
Helen Eadie Cowdenbeath 1999 Member for Dunfermline East 1999-2011, Cowdenbeath 2011-
Mary Fee West of Scotland 2011
Patricia Ferguson Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn 1999 Member for Glasgow Maryhill 1999-2011, Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn 2011-
Neil Findlay Lothians 2011
Rhoda Grant Highlands and Islands 1999 Member for Highlands and Islands 1999-2003, 2007-
Iain Gray East Lothian 1999 Member for Edinburgh Pentlands 1999-2003, East Lothian 2007-
Mark Griffin Central Scotland 2011
Hugh Henry Renfrewshire South 2011
James Kelly Rutherglen 2007 Member for Glasgow Rutherglen 2007-11, Rutherglen 2011-
Johann Lamont Glasgow Pollok 1999
Lewis Macdonald North East Scotland 1999 Member for Aberdeen Central 1999-2011, North East Scotland 2011-
Ken Macintosh Eastwood 1999
Hanzala Malik Glasgow 2011
Jenny Marra North East Scotland 2011
Paul Martin Glasgow Provan 1999 Member for Glasgow Springburn 1999-2011, Glasgow Provan 2011-
Margaret McCulloch Central Scotland 2011
Margaret McDougall West of Scotland 2011
Michael McMahon Uddingston and Bellshill 1999 Member for Hamilton North and Bellshill 1999-2011, Uddingston and Bellshill 2011-
Siobhan McMahon Central Scotland 2011
Duncan McNeil Greenock and Inverclyde 1999
Anne McTaggart Glasgow 2011
Elaine Murray Dumfriesshire 1999 Member for Dumfries 1999-2011, Dumfriesshire 2011-
John Park Mid Scotland and Fife 2007
Graeme Pearson South of Scotland 2011
John Pentland Motherwell and Wishaw 2011
Richard Simpson Mid Scotland and Fife 1999 Member for Ochil 1999-2003, Mid Scotland and Fife 2007-
Drew Smith Glasgow 2011
Elaine Smith Coatbridge and Chryston 1999
David Stewart Highlands and Islands 2007 MP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber 1997-2005

Further reading

  • Donald Dewar, Scotland's First Minister, Wendy Alexander, Mainstream, 2005.
  • The Scottish Labour Party, Gerry Hassan, 2003, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0-7486-1784-1
  • Scottish Labour Leaders 1918-1939: A Biographical Dictionary, William Know, Mainstream, 1984.
  • Dictionary of Labour Biography, Greg Rosen, 2001, Politicos Publishing, ISBN 1902301188
  • Old Labour to New, Greg Rosen, 2005, Politicos Publishing.
  • John Smith - A Life, Mark Stuart, Politicos Publishing, 2005.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Macdonell, Hamish (29 September 2010). "The Scottish Labour Party and its mysterious expanding membership". Caledonian Mercury. http://politics.caledonianmercury.com/2010/09/29/the-scottish-labour-party-and-its-mysterious-expanding-membership/. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  3. ^ The Scottish Labour Party, Report and Financial Statements, year ended 31st December 2007, as submitted to the Electoral Commission
  4. ^ The 2005 General Election in Scotland, by David Denver, Scottish Affairs, No. 53, Autumn 2005; accessed 7 January 2009
  5. ^ "Labour unveils new top official", BBC News website, 4 February 2008
  6. ^ "Panic within Labour as membership falls", The Scotsman, 5 March 2006
  7. ^ "Donations to Scottish Labour fell by 90% in just one year". The Herald. 31 July 2009. http://www.theherald.co.uk/politics/news/display.var.2523114.0.Donations_to_Scottish_Labour_fell_by_90_in_just_one_year.php. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  8. ^ pdf file: The Scottish Labour Party, Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st December 2005, Hardie Caldwell, Chartered Accountants, Citypoint 2, 25 Tyndrum Street, Glasgow, G4 0JY
  9. ^ Glenrothes result in full BBC News 7 Nov 2008
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ http://order-order.com/2009/02/03/glenrothe-votes-ghosts-and-posts/

External links


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