Corbyn’s leading Scottish ally to publish explosive political diaries (From HeraldScotland)


LABOUR MSP Neil Findlay is to publish a behind the scenes diary on the campaign against independence and which is expected to be critical of senior figures including colleagues Jim Murphy and Alistair Darling.

Findlay’s contest with Murphy to lead Scottish Labour in 2014 will also be chronicled in a book that will pull few punches about battles within the party.

The diary will also chart Jeremy Corbyn’s two successful campaigns to lead UK Labour, which Findlay took charge of in Scotland.

Findlay revealed his plans to publish the as-yet-untitled book this autumn in this week’s Sunday Herald People Behind The Power interview.

The Lothians MSP hinted that as well as leading figures in Labour, those in the SNP and Tory party will come in for criticism.

Labour’s controversial decision to join forces with the Tories in Better Together will form the first part of the book. It will also take in the disastrous 2015 General Election campaign, which saw the party lose 40 of its 41 Westminster seats in Scotland to the SNP.

The attempt to oust Corbyn by party rebels, supported by Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, is also likely to be one of the most controversial sections.

Speaking about the book Findlay said: “There will be a commentary of what I see as the strategic errors of the Better Together campaign,” which was the decision to ally with the Conservatives.

“We cannot spend 30 years or more since the Miners’ Strike telling people the Tories are the biggest bunch of bastards and then decide to stand beside them in a campaign.

“It would be impossible to comment on that period without referring to major players in the referendum,” Findlay added in an indication that Better Together’s leading lights could face flak.

Findlay said he will consider lodging a Private Members’ Bill at Holyrood to force a Hillsborough-style inquiry into the Miners’ Strike if the SNP Government continues to refuse such a probe.

In the 1984-85 dispute nearly 500 miners were convicted in Scotland. Campaigners have claimed the convictions were unsafe and politically motivated. Findlay’s diaries are expected to cover this campaign, which he has been leading since late-2012.

Findlay and other campaigners held talks with Scotland’s justice secretary Michael Matheson who said he would “reflect” on the issue last December.

In response to Findlay’s fresh call for an inquiry, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have already made clear that the main source of injustice felt by miners was the actions of the then-UK government and it is for them to answer claims of political interference.

“That is why the Justice Secretary wrote to the Home Secretary calling for them to commission an independent investigation into the claims being made.

“Mr Matheson wrote to Mr Findlay last month informing him that he has not yet been able to finalise a decision, but will contact him and the campaigners as soon as he is in a position to do so.”

Neil Findlay reveals his book plan in People Behind The Power on Page 54.

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