Jim Murphy faces more pressure to quit

JIM Murphy has faced a new call to quit as Scottish Labour leader from another major union ahead of a crunch meeting of the party’s ruling body tomorrow.
Jim Murphy. Picture: John DevlinJim Murphy. Picture: John Devlin
Jim Murphy. Picture: John Devlin

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has added its voice to those calling for Mr Murphy to resign in the wake of last week’s election, when Labour lost 40 of its 41 MPs in Scotland.

Unions such as Unite and Unison have already said Mr Murphy should resign, with two members of Labour’s shadow ministerial team at Holyrood quitting their roles following the SNP rout.

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Mr Murphy is expected to face a motion of no confidence at a meeting of Scottish Labour’s national executive at the party’s HQ in Glasgow tomorrow.

The CWU is affiliated to the Labour Party and represents workers in post, telecoms, mobile, and financial services companies including BT, Capita, EE, O2, Parcelforce, the Post Office, Royal Mail, Santander and UK Mail.

A CWU spokesman said: “CWU is calling for the resignation of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader following the party’s performance in the general election, which was particularly disastrous in Scotland.

“It is clear that the Labour Party needs to rebuild in Scotland and CWU believes that will be done most effectively under new leadership.”

However, other unions Usdaw and Community have said Mr Murphy, who lost his East Renfrewshire seat last week, should remain in post and lead the party into the 2016 Holyrood election.

Left-wing Scottish Labour activists have urged Jim Murphy to resign to allow the party to reconnect with the public without the distraction of a rejected MP at the helm.

A meeting of about 100 activists organised by the Campaign For Socialism reached the almost unanimous decision that “Jim Murphy must go” on Wednesday.

Mr Murphy was only elected Scottish Labour leader in December last year after his predecessor Johann Lamont quit, accused the party in London of treating Scotland like a “branch office”.

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He has already said he wants to stay in the post as the ‘’long-standing problems that led me to stand for leadership of this remarkable party in the first place’’ still need to be tackled.

But two members of his shadow Scottish cabinet have quit their posts in the wake of the election result, with Alex Rowley, who had been the party’s local government spokesman at Holyrood, arguing a ‘’’fundamental change in direction and strategy’’ is needed.

The Cowdenbeath MSP said it would be a mistake for Mr Murphy to remain in the post and lead Labour into next year’s Scottish elections.

Neil Findlay, who had stood against Mr Murphy for the post of Scottish leader, quit his post as fair work, skills and training spokesman.