Fitzgerald fuels row over Labour ‘front’ for SNP

A LEADING figure in the “Labour for Independence” campaign group is a former SNP member who only switched parties last year before taking up her role as treasurer for the organisation.

Amid a growing row over claims the small group is a “front” for the SNP, Scotland on Sunday has learnt that Celia Fitzgerald only joined Labour in November last year having previously been a SNP figure who knew First Minister Alex Salmond.

Fitzgerald’s admission that she had only been a Labour member for a matter of months came as the Labour for Independence founder Allan Grogan acknowledged the group has been sending leaflets to supporters outside the party to distribute to voters across Scotland.

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Critics of the organisation have claimed SNP activists have been masquerading as Labour members in an attempt to create the impression that there was significant support for independence within Ed Miliband’s party.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Fitzgerald said she had joined the SNP in 2007, but left it at the end of last year after hearing Grogan speak at the pro-independence rally in Edinburgh in September.

“I saw Allan Grogan at last year’s independence march and he gave a talk and I was very impressed by him and what he had to say. I thought that’s the way to do it. Go back to Labour and reclaim it for the people. It is very important that we are part of the party,” Fitzgerald said.

“It is very simple. Westminster doesn’t represent Scotland. Westminster Labour doesn’t represent Scotland and only way to do that is to have independence. The SNP is by no means a perfect government but at least it has got some idea of the wishes of its people.”

But last night, Blair McDougall, the Better Together director, said: “Now it appears that there are deliberate attempts by the SNP to infiltrate the Labour Party to support the deception. There are serious questions to answer for the SNP, Yes Scotland and ‘Labour’ for Independence”