Dear Mr Sarwar MP
I write this in response to your untrue, unfounded and un-researched allegations in the House of Commons during the Section 30 debate. In your speech you claimed:
"We have seen the launch of the Labour for Independence campaign, which has one or a maximum of two Labour members fronting a campaign led mainly by the SNP…..”
Some might call it admirable that you feel you can give such false information to the British Parliament without any evidence or research behind it. However, we at Labour for Independence believe in an honest political dialogue.
Here is a list of Labour party members who are staff and ambassadors of Labour for Independence. We have also included some supporters at their own request to show their full backing for our group.
Allan Grogan- Labour member & LFI founder
Steven Syme - Labour member & LFI Southern Scotland regional co-ordinator.
Alex Bell – Labour member & LFI West Coast co-ordinator
Paul Leinster- Labour member & LFI Ambassador
Debbie Waters- Labour member & LFI Ambassador
John Paul Tonner- Labour member & LFI Ambassador
Michael Daley- Labour member & LFI Ambassador
Celia Fitzgerald- Labour member & LFI Ambassador
Alex Foulkes- Labour member & LFI supporter
Tam Dewar- Labour member & LFI supporter
Robert Cowie- Labour member & LFI supporter
John Dalzell- Labour member & LFI activist
Robert Lodge- Labour member & LFI activist
A mention must also go to George Anderson, former Labour member, one of the heroes of the Skye Bridge crossing group, and now a LFI ambassador.
We have not carried out a full audit of members and supporters. But this sample clearly shows that we have more than a ‘maximum of two’ members. We are sure that throughout our social media support and our grass roots campaigning we have and will continue to receive more support from our fellow Labour members.
While Labour membership numbers seem to be especially important to the party HQ when discussing LFI, it is important to stress that we are not solely a members group. We encourage and welcome support from all of Labour, including past supporters. I am sure you will appreciate that the success of any group is not based solely on formal membership. If so the Labour party would have received 13,000 votes in the last Scottish Election finishing up 90,000 votes behind the Lib Dems. Your other accusation that we are a front for the SNP is plainly ludicrous and will be seen for the lie it is. Frankly, this is a desperate move by a party hierarchy out of touch with their members, supporters and the people of Scotland.
I hope this goes some way to giving you the facts. I will assume that you will no longer be peddling such mistruths in future.
This will be the last time we will respond to such remarks; any further similar attacks will be treated with the contempt they deserve.
On a personal level I would like to say how disappointed I was with your comments in the House particularly coming only days after you promised a positive campaign.
We at LFI and Yes Scotland will continue to deliver a positive message to all Labour supporters and to the people of Scotland, persuading them of the benefits an independent Scotland will bring, with a real Scottish Labour party at the heart of it.
Labour for Independence Founder.