Scottish Labour slam John McDonnell's referendum claim party won't block indyref2

Jackie Baillie says Richard Leonard has been "undermined"
Jackie Baillie says Richard Leonard has been "undermined"
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Scottish Labour MSPs and MPs have issued a stinging rebuke of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's claim that the party would not block a second vote on independence.

A statement from the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party, released by chair Jackie Baillie, the Dumbarton MSP, slams the attempt to "undermine" Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard's position on a second vote on leaving the UK.
It also calls for "urgent engagement" between the UK party leadership and the party in Scotland.

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The Scottish Government needs permission from Westminster to stage a second vote on leaving the UK. The current Tory Government has ruled it out, but Mr McDonnell made it clear this week that Labour at Westminster would not block this if there was a majority at Holyrood and it was what the people wanted.

But today's statement, agreed by a majority of Scottish Parliamentarians, insists the 2014 was promised as a "once-in-a-generation contest."
It adds: "The SPLP support the stance taken by Richard Leonard as our Leader and back the policy position that he outlined.
"We deplore any attempts to undermine the official policy position of the Scottish Labour Party and we express serious concerns about an apparent change in Labour’s position on a matter of vital importance to the future of Scotland and of the Scottish Labour Party itself.

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"Scottish Party policy is very clear – that is opposition to a second independence referendum. There is therefore an urgent need for the UK Party leadership to engage constructively with the Scottish Party leadership on the issue of the Party’s stance on the future of Scotland.
"We are clear Labour’s position on Scotland’s future is a decision for Scottish Labour, which the UK Party must accept.
"We expect all Scottish Labour MPs and MSPs to vote in accordance with party policy."