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Bullying Claims At Labours East Kilbride HQ


17/01/16


Scottish Labour has launched an investigation into a local party branch after complaints of bullying behaviour.

General Secretary Brian Roy has personally taken charge of the probe into the East Kilbride constituency Labour party (CLP).


The East Kilbride CLP is notoriously fractious and is said to have been dogged for years by splits and personality clashes.

Around ten complaints were made to party headquarters late last year, some of which allege bullying tactics by members in the South Lanarkshire area.

Roy has written to all of those affected and noted that that volume of complaints means he has to carry out a “wide-ranging investigation”.

He has contacted complainants, witnesses, respondents and named persons and interviews were carried out this week.


Further one-to-one sessions will be conducted over the next few days.

Those who have come forward are a mixture of new and long-established members.

Some members believe the party should be put into ‘special measures’ – which would mean a takeover by the Glasgow headquarters.

The local party has between 250 and 300 members.

However, it is not the first time complaints have made about this CLP.


In 2013, South Lanarkshire Labour councillor Susan Kerr complained about an culture of intimidation. MSP Margaret McCulloch had also contacted party headquarters around the same time about similar issues.

The splits come as the party struggles to narrow the gap with the SNP ahead of the Holyrood election. Labour lost the seat at a Scottish Parliament level in 2011 and was defeated at last May’s general election by 16,527 votes.


An SNP spokesperson said: “Less than four months from the Scottish Parliament election we hear yet more evidence that Labour are bitterly divided. If Kezia Dugdale can’t even get a grip on one of her own branches then she can’t expect the people of East Kilbride to have any faith in her candidate – or her shambles of a party.”


A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “It’s no surprise to see the Labour party dogged again by these problems. Voters are sick of this sort of behaviour, and it’s one of the many reasons the party is collapsing in the polls as a result.”


A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: "Scottish Labour does not comment on internal party matters."