Picture emerges of Scottish MP practising with other Labour quitters for launch of now-defunct rival party
Right-wing Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray has been exposed as one of the quitters who set up the ‘Independent Group’ (later Change UK) party of MPs. A photo published in a book about the Labour Party shows Murray – who has also accepted funds from a Tory donor for his bid for the deputy leadership this year – practising for the new party’s launch – but he backed out at the last minute.
The group became known as the ‘Tinge’ party after one of its MPs described people of colour as having a ‘funny tinge’ and quickly fell apart, with some of its MPs joining the LibDems and all losing their seats at the general election. The SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed the defections from Labour before they began – and the subsequent defection of at least one to the LibDems, although the revelations were rubbished widely until they proved true.
But Murray’s last-minute loss of nerve does not get him off the hook under Labour’s rules, which state:
A member of the Party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member, subject to the provisions of Chapter 6.I.2 below of the disciplinary rules.
How can Murray’s participation in the formation of the group, which went as far as practising for its launch, is ‘support’? Under Labour’s rules he cannot remain as a Labour MP.
Labour leader Keir Starmer’s unwillingness to take action against former staff accused in a leaked report of racism and sabotaging the party’s electoral campaigns has turned many members against him who were originally willing to give him a chance to live up to his leadership campaign promises – and his response to anti-black racism has tarnished his wider image.
But with Labour already beginning to allow some of the personnel of the Tinge party to rejoin, in complete disregard for the party’s democratically-decided rulebook, if party leader Keir Starmer does not withdraw the whip from Murray after this revelation, he will lose even the shreds of his credibility in front of members.
The Labour Party was contacted for comment on Murray’s status as a Labour MP but was not ready to respond.
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