Kezia Dugdale accuses Richard Leonard of censoring pro-remain MEPs

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 March 2019 in News

Writing to the Scottish Labour leader, Dugdale questioned the party’s support for Brexit

Image credit: David Anderson

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has made a formal complaint to Richard Leonard after accusing her party’s leadership of amending a statement from Catherine Stihler on Brexit without her consent.

Writing to the Scottish Labour leader, Dugdale questioned the party’s support for Brexit, as well as why neither MEP David Martin or former MEP Catherine Stihler had been given the opportunity to speak at conference.

Dugdale then accused the Scottish Labour leadership of amending Stihler’s statement in the conference guide, without her consent, to remove a section describing Brexit as a “tragedy for our country and for the workers and communities that Labour represents”.

In her letter to Leonard, Dugdale said: “I wish to formally complain about the way in which Catherine Stihler and David Martin have been treated ahead of conference.

“From what I can see from the agenda, there is no formal opportunity for them to speak or indeed a formal item to thank them for their combined 55 years of electoral service to the party.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, I was shocked to discover from Catherine that her statement in the conference guide had been amended without her consent.

“When that was challenged, she was told it was on your direction and that you had the final say on what was printed.”

She added: “I find that wholly inappropriate and I can’t possibly understand why you would seek to censor her final words to party members, especially since what she states is party policy and has been since last September.”

Dugdale’s letter claims the Scottish Labour leadership removed a section from Stihler’s statement saying: “Brexit is a tragedy for our country and for the workers and communities that Labour represents. That’s why David and Catherine fully support a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU.”

According to Dugdale it was then replaced with: “The complete mess the Tories have made of Brexit means they are putting Scottish people’s jobs and our industries at risk. Labour will always put them first.”

Responding, a Labour source said: “This was a genuine misunderstanding and Richard has written to Catherine and David to apologise.”

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