Scottish Labour to develop new policy on federalism
Scottish Labour will react to the general election by developing a new policy based on the creation of a federal UK, according to leader Richard Leonard.
With Scottish Labour losing six of its seven seats north of the border in December’s general election, Scottish Labour’s Executive committee agreed to consult on a new policy on federalism that “resonates with people across Scotland” before producing a new report in March.
The meeting of the committee came amid calls for the party to shift its stance on a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Leonard also outlined plans to review the party’s stance on Brexit. The review will be led by former Scottish Labour chair Linda Stewart and academic Professor David Conway.
Speaking after the meeting of Scottish Labour’s Executive committee, Leonard said: “Representatives of all sections of our party – constituency delegates, trade unions, socialist societies and elected representatives – agreed to consult on the outcome of last month’s General Election. As part of that, our policy on federalism will be developed to ensure that it resonates with people across Scotland. The result of this consultation will form the basis of the approach Scottish Labour will take as we look forward to putting our positive case before the people of Scotland at the 2021 Holyrood elections.
“As I set out shortly after last month’s election, I want Scottish Labour to hold a swift, evidence-based review of the result and the lessons we must learn as a party. We must in particular consider our position on the constitutional questions which dominated the general election campaign: namely Scotland’s constitutional future and our relationship with the European Union – drawing on our tradition as the party of devolution.
“Today I am delighted to announce that Linda Stewart, a former chair of Scottish Labour, and respected academic, Professor David Conway, will help lead this review. Over the next few weeks, the review team will take evidence from election candidates, and party activists to inform their conclusions. I hope that they can count on your support in this vital task.”
The executive also agreed a timetable for the vacant Scottish deputy leadership, the result of which will be announced on April 4, the same day as the UK leadership result.