Thursday, 20 November 2008

There may be trouble ahead...

...but while there's Moffat and money, some scandal, the suspension of a Constituency Labour Party and another election to come, Labour must face the music. And dance.

Okay, perhaps not the most catchy of tunes. But what is going on in East Lothian?! My ear to the ground tells me the BBC are reporting Labour's National Executive Committee have suspended the East Lothian Constituency party while a "full investigation of the local party and its affairs.

Not good news it would appear for Anne Moffat, Labour's MP for the area, who it would appear hasn't exactly made herself popular in the constituency who, in the past, has compared Alex Salmond to Hitler and hit the headlines previously for claiming £40,000 worth of travel expenses... in one year.

According to Brian Taylor, only 2 of the six branches in East Lothian backed her for automatic reselection, while three wanted an open selection process and the other, the largest branch, was divided. However, on the back of Trade Union affiliates' votes, she was reselected. The matter was referred to Labour's NEC who upheld the decision and has now suspended the branch.

Couple of things:

One - surely this makes an even bigger mockery of Labour's election process (which I highlighted during the leadership contest). Apparently Labour are all about hearing what the electorate wants to say... so why when their membership says something are they so keen to hush them up?

Secondly, this is Iain Gray's backyard. Well, not really... since he was MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands before that nasty Tory man stole his seat in 2003. This probably makes it difficult (but not impossible) for Labour to hold East Lothian in the next Westminster Election - and then what for the Gray Man of Scottish politics? If his seat goes orange, blue or yellow at Westminster, what are the chances of Gray himself getting back in at Holyrood in 2011? Bet I know one person who finds this story a mite interesting.

So... not a good day for Labour I guess.


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