Labour MP snubs Holyrood fight for holiday flight

SCOTTISH Labour MPs are demanding that one of their colleagues should be barred from standing for the party again after he decided to take a three-week holiday abroad instead of campaigning during the Holyrood election.

The Scotsman has been told that Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Jim Sheridan told colleagues that the result was "in the bag".

He added he would not be needed to help in campaigning during the election, which instead led to the SNP winning a historic majority.

Among the Nationalist gains on the dramatic night was the Paisley Scottish Parliament seat, until recently held by former Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander, which overlaps Mr Sheridan's constituency.

Mr Sheridan's decision to take a holiday rather than help fight the Nationalist surge has become symbolic of a growing divide between many of the Scottish Labour MPs elected to Westminster last year and their colleagues who came in before. MPs from the 2010 intake have privately complained about the "disdain" many of the veteran MPs have for the Scottish Parliament.

One MP said: "It was noticeable that several of the older group didn't bother to campaign much.

"The fact one of them decided to go on holiday pretty well sums it up.

"We really have to end this total disdain for Holyrood and various people need to start treating it seriously or we will never fight back against the Nats."

Another added: "It's totally outrageous that while activists and colleagues were flogging themselves around streets to try to save the campaign one of us should go on holiday."

A third said: "I hope when the boundaries are redrawn and there are less seats to fight this is remembered and Mr Sheridan is not chosen as a candidate. He has let everybody down."

Mr Sheridan was not available to comment.