Labour accused of begging members to 'make up the numbers' at council elections

Scottish Labour has been accused of desperately begging its members "to make up the numbers" by standing as candidates in May's council elections.

The SNP said the party was misleading voters by "trying to field candidates who have absolutely no ambition or intention of being elected or serving their community".

It comes after an email sent out by the Aberdeen Central constituency Labour Party asked members who live or work in the Aberdeenshire Council area to put their names forward as candidates.

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It said this would be a "large favour" to the party.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar

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The email message, written by a party activist, said: "We are primarily looking for people who will be willing for their name to go down onto the ballot and, in doing so, will allow hundreds of people to vote Labour.

"Doing anything additional as a candidate will not be a requirement.

"We are asking for a favour from you to allow many hundreds of Labour voters to be able to cast their vote across the north-east in the local elections, because if we aren't able to stand candidates across Aberdeenshire, many people will be disenfranchised.

"This election could potentially see the narrowing in the vote nationally between Labour and the Conservatives.

"Therefore, every vote counts. This could be the difference between Labour coming third or second nationally.

"This would be a fantastic result, but to get there we need people who are willing to put their name down on a ballot paper somewhere we need them."

Aberdeenshire currently has only one Labour councillor.

SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: "This is both desperate and disgraceful from Scottish Labour, who are now being forced to beg their dwindling membership to make up the numbers ahead of this year's council elections – although, it's no surprise that even their own party members are unwilling to be the face of a sinking ship.

"They are also seriously misleading the voting public by trying to field candidates who have absolutely no ambition or intention of being elected or serving their community."

A Scottish Labour source said the email was "not the type of tone we would have expected".

A spokesman said: “Scottish Labour are committed to standing in communities across Scotland and giving people the chance to build a better future for their local areas.”

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