An influential union leader has warned that Labour faces an “existential crisis” in Scotland as rebels tabled a no-confidence vote in the party leader, Richard Leonard. Gary Smith, the secretary of GMB Scotland, said the crisis over the party’s leadership and its plummeting popularity in Scotland raised profound questions about Labour’s future at UK level, with polls putting its support as low as 14%. The GMB helped finance Leonard’s leadership campaign in 2017, giving him £12,000 and a free “phone bank” to canvass members. Leonard was a senior GMB officer for 20 years before becoming a Labour MSP in 2016. He remains a GMB member. Smith said the union would not intervene on Leonard’s behalf. The GMB has refused to support his tenure as leader or back the rebellion led by a group of party centrists. Smith indicated most GMB members voted for the Scottish National party. “At a time like this, our members would not thank us for getting bogged down in an internal Scottish Labour party issue, a party for which many of them no longer vote for,” he said. “The truth is Scottish Labour’s problems run far deeper than one individual. It is facing an existential crisis… Read full this story
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