Wendy Alexander resigns

Tom Griffin
28 June 2008

Wendy Alexander announced her resignation as Scottish Labour leader this morning. Cathy Jamieson takes over as acting leader pending a leadership election.

The decision comes after the Holyrood Standards Committee voted on Thursday to suspend Alexander for one day for failing to publish details of donations to her leadership campaign.

In her statement today, Alexander described the committee's move as a 'breach of natural justice and a partisan decision.'

However, Iain MacWhirter has just suggested on BBC News 24 that the SNP may not have been trying to force Alexander out. A New Labour leader may be less inclined to support an independence referendum, and to pursue what MacWhirter called Alexander's 'small-n nationalist' agenda.

There was more potentially bad news for Labour with the announcement that Glasgow East MP David Marshall is set to stand down. In normal circumstances his 13,507 majority would be considered rock-solid, but a by-election will be a major opportunity for the SNP.

The constituency includes Glasgow Celtic's Parkhead stadium, and could be an interesting symbolic test of Alex Salmond's ambitions to win over Catholic voters in west-central Scotland who have traditionally voted Labour.

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