A FORMER Labour MEP has warned that shadow international development minister Jim Murphy would ‘help to break up the Union’ if elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
Hugh Kerr, who spent more than three decades as an activist, councillor and MEP in Scotland and England writes in today’s Scotsman that he feels ‘some sympathy for the pain that socialists who remain in the Labour Party in Scotland must feel’.
Mr Kerr fell out with the New Labour government shortly after the general election in May 1997, accusing the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, of ‘Stalinist tendencies’ for planning to abolish euro-constituencies and for introducing a party list regional system for future European elections.
He was expelled from the Labour Party in the late 1998 for his opposition to Mr Blair.
In his letter, Mr Kerr claims that Labour ‘signed its own death warrant’ when it decided to campaign with the Conservatives and oppose independence.
The former MEP adds: “If Labour had campaigned for independence, we would have won the vote and Labour could have won the next Scottish Parliament election.
“The only person who might stand a chance of pulling Labour together and putting up a fight would be Gordon Brown, but the ‘great clunking fist’ sees himself as a colossus on the world stage and is very unlikely to stand, not least because he isn’t certain he would win.
“So that leaves Jim Murphy as the likely winner of the leadership election but the certain loser of the general election in Scotland next year and of the Scottish Parliament in 2016.”
Mr Kerr continues by saying that Mr Murphy ‘may help in the historic task of gaining independence for Scotland.’
He adds: “A Murphy leadership will ensure at least 20 MPs for the SNP next May and I can’t see anyone taking Ed Miliband seriously as an alternative prime minister.
“So five more years of a Tory government sustained by a rump of Liberals and a sack of Ukip MPs, a vote to leave the EU in 2017 and lots more cuts will convince the Scottish people that independence is the only answer.”
Mr Kerr added that he believed Mr Murphy ‘would help break up the Union’ if elected.
Mr Kerr served as Tommy Sheridan’s spin doctor in the early 2000s, stood as an SSP candidate in May 2003, and again in June 2004 for the European Parliamentary Elections.
He joined the SNP in November 2011.