Midlothian Labour councillor hits out at party

Monktonhall Miners Fly the Flag at Durham Miners Gala, (left to right) Jock Taylor, Alex & Betty Bennett, Marie Glen, Janet Connachan, Raymond Diamond and Paddy Dudgeon
Monktonhall Miners Fly the Flag at Durham Miners Gala, (left to right) Jock Taylor, Alex & Betty Bennett, Marie Glen, Janet Connachan, Raymond Diamond and Paddy Dudgeon

A Midlothian Labour councillor has expressed his “disgust” at his party for failing to oppose the Conservatives’ latest welfare reforms.

In a letter to the Advertiser (see page 14) Councillor Alex Bennett attacked Labour for not voting against the Westminster government’s plans last month.

He said: “As a Labour Councillor in Midlothian I write to express my disgust at the Parliamentary Labour Party for failing to vote against the Tory Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

“I congratulate the 48 Labour MPs, and in particular Jeremy Corbyn, who voted against the Bill despite pressure from the Whips. This helps explain why so many Labour Party members see Jeremy Corbyn as the only candidate for the leadership who offers hope for the future.

“Many members like myself will continue to fight against the austerity measures of the Tories, the SNP and indeed the Labour Party itself should it continue down this path. “

And Councillor Bennett threw his weight behind the Labour leadership candidate currently gaining support from the trade unions.

He said: “Jeremy Corbyn gives the Labour Party a vision of taking public transport and energy back into public ownership and protecting the NHS.

“I think that is a vision worth fighting for.”

Councillor Bennet also told the Advertiser that his branch of the Labour party voted overwhelmingly for Mr Corbyn.

He said: “The Midlothian North constituency Labour party had a meeting to discuss the leadership of the Labour party and they voted for Jeremy Corbyn by more than 50 per cent.

“I think Andy Burnham was second but miles behind.

“They didn’t even have to count the second vote as it was so overwhelming.”

The new Labour leader will be revealed on September 12 when the party announces the result at a special conference and on its website and via e-mail.

Responding to Councillor Bennett’s comments, a spokesperson for the Labour party said: “It’s not one for us to comment on as it’s about the leadership contest.”