Unite endorse Neil Findlay for leader of Scottish Labour


Unite Scotland have announced that they are recommending their members vote for MSP Neil Findlay in the Scottish Labour leadership election. It had been widely expected that Findlay would secure the union’s endorsement, so today’s announcement comes as no surprise.

Unite has this week conducted a poll of members in Scotland, finding that 78% would prefer the leader to be a member of the Scottish Parliament. Worryingly for Labour, they also found that 54% who voted Labour in 2010 do not expect to do so again in 2010. This comes after two very poor Westminster polls for Scottish Labour last week.

Of the announcement, chair of Unite Scotland Pat Rafferty said:

After consultation with our members’ representatives, the clear outcome is that Unite’s recommendation to our members is to back Neil Findlay MSP for leader of the Labour party in Scotland.
“Neil’s impressive record of working for working people and their communities at Holyrood and in his role as shadow health minister won the day.
“In Neil we are confident that our members will find a leader who not only understands their concerns but will fight doggedly on their behalf. They can be assured that Neil is on their side.
“Our committee concluded that the positive programme for social justice on which Neil stands not only makes him the outstanding candidate but also offers the best hope for the renewal of the Labour party with the communities of Scotland.
“Furthermore, our members have told us very clearly that they want an MSP in the role of Labour leader, at the Scottish Parliament where the decisions affecting their lives are being taken. 
“Ahead of the ballot, we will ensure Unite members are supported in their own decision making, and can be assured that their union will be seeking opportunities for them to question candidates at hustings meetings. 
“I would urge all three candidates to attend the union hustings.  These are an opportunity to connect with not just the people of our 165,000-strong union, but the hundreds of thousands of union members across Scotland.”
Findlay has already secured the support of three other trade unions. You can see the full list of nominations and endorsements here.
Update: Unite have also announced today that they will be supporting Katy Clark for Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, citing her work as “a fighter for working people”.
Everything Labour.
Every weekday morning.

By clicking ‘subscribe’ you confirm you have read and agree to our privacy policy

More from LabourList

Donate to fund our journalism


Subscribe to our Daily Email