Dugdale agrees change with Corbyn
Labour MPs fear voter confusion over split policies
Labour has agreed to allow its Scottish party to promote different policy positions in a move that some MPs fear will create confusion among voters.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has agreed a “statement of intent” with national leader Jeremy Corbyn to give the party greater autonomy north of the border.
It will see Scotland take control of membership, administration and selection procedures and bring some flexibility into policies.
It means that at the next general election the Scottish and UK parties may be campaigning on issues from different points of view.
Ms Dugdale insisted voters would understand this and that Labour needs to become a federal party.
However, the agreement has been received with anger by some English MPs who believe it will send out a confused message.
Ms Dugdale argues that the changes are necessary as the party had to be more responsive to the devolution settlement.
She told a press briefing: “This isn’t change for the sake of it. A Scottish Labour Party with more autonomy will make us fit for the future so we can do a better job of holding the SNP Government to account and, more importantly, to ask people to put their trust in us once again.”
Critics within the party are concerned that this paves the way for having different policies on non-devolved issues, such as defence and energy.