The SNP has said Keir Starmer is “running scared of the Tories” – amid a growing backlash over the Labour Leader’s bungled rule-change bid.
Labour Party members have hit out after the leadership briefed The Sun on a plan to change the party’s constitution to rule out working with progressive parties that support independence including the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and SDLP, while leaving the door open to deals with the Tories, DUP and UKIP.
Responding to the plan, Welsh Labour member of the Senedd for Blaenau Gwent and former government minister Alun Davies MS tweeted:
“Welsh Labour has a cooperation agreement with Plaid.
“And we have had a coalition with Plaid in the past.
“It’s time for UK Labour to learn from the success of Welsh Labour rather than the failures of Scottish Labour.”
Former front bench Labour MSP Neil Findlay tweeted agreement with Alun Davies, and former Labour government minister and MP John Denham tweeted:
“So Welsh Labour will be expelled from @UKLabour?…
“There is also the small matter of Labour’s relationship with the SDLP.”
In a thread, former Labour government Special Adviser, David Clark tweeted:
“This seems bonkers at first glance, but when you think about it, it’s actually much worse.
“It suggests that unionism has now supplanted democratic socialism as Labour’s core belief system.
“It would certainly be interesting to see this historic shift debated at conference.”
Compass Director Neal Lawson warned:
“The @UKLabour leadership want to deny the legitimate wishes of 50% of Scotland exist rather than deal with the multi-party world people are voting for.”
Commenting, SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said:
“Regardless of whether this is a genuine plan, this bungled posturing shows Keir Starmer is running scared of the Tories and is too afraid to challenge their regressive policies head on.
“You don’t beat the Tories by turning into them – but that’s exactly what the Labour Party is doing under Starmer’s leadership.
“Instead of offering a real alternative, they are copying the Tories on Brexit, austerity cuts, democracy denial, and their arrogant treatment of Scotland and the devolved nations.
“Not only is it a sign of weakness but, if this plan was actually implemented via a rule change or more informal approach, it would put the Labour Party in the absurd and unfathomable position of ruling out working with progressive parties like the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and SDLP, while leaving the door wide open to a deal with the Tories, DUP or UKIP.
“If this juvenile half-baked plan goes ahead, Labour would be the only party in the UK to have a constitutional proscription on working with other parties.
“Not even the DUP, who have been in government with Sinn Fein, hold themselves to such ridiculous extremes.
“Yet again, it shows the high-handed Labour leadership in Westminster don’t have a clue what’s happening with their own government in Wales or the SDLP in Northern Ireland – and they are sticking two fingers up to the democratic decisions of people in Scotland.
“Unlike Starmer, the SNP will always seek to work with other progressive parties to secure change and we are offering a genuine alternative to Tory rule with independence.”