Opposition accusations of ‘Westminster control’

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The new general secretary of the Labour Party in Scotland is to report to the UK party’s top official, prompting opposition claims of Westminster control.

The recent departure of Colin Smyth as general secretary north of the Border was seen as an opportunity for Johann Lamont, the first person to hold the newly created role of Scottish leader, to tighten her grip. But Mr Smyth’s successor will answer to UK general secretary Iain McNicol.

SNP MSP Sandra White said: “It is little surprise that Labour party bosses in Westminster want to maintain control of the party in Scotland.

“People in Scotland expect their representatives to be answerable only to them, not to the agendas of Westminster.”