Christian Wakeford, a right-wing, Brexit-loving Tory MP, has defected to the Labour Party.
That, combined with Keir Starmer’s drift towards the right, shows that Labour and the Tories are increasingly two sides of the same Westminster coin – and increasingly out of touch with Scotland.
Out of touch on Brexit
Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and the SNP is now the only major party that continues to support Scotland’s place in Europe.
Labour have now become full supporters of Boris Johnson’s Brexit – with Keir Starmer ruling out re-joining the EU or even renegotiating the current damaging deal.
Christian Wakeford enthusiastically backed the hardest form of Brexit, supporting “no deal” and voting to drag Scotland out of Europe. Labour is now fully complicit in this.
Here’s the rolling list of how we’re all forced to pay the price of a Brexit we never voted for.
Out of touch on Universal Credit
The Tories’ decision to cut Universal Credit by £20 a week for the poorest and most vulnerable in society has pushed more people into poverty.
That’s on top of twelve years of Tory austerity, which the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty has described as “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population”.
Christian Wakeford has voted for the £20 Universal Credit cut, and with Keir Starmer giving him a warm welcome to the Labour benches, he’s effectively endorsing that.
Out of touch on migration
Immigration is hugely beneficial for Scotland’s society and economy, and the labour shortages caused by Brexit have caused damage to businesses, public services and our NHS.
Tories continue with their migration-cutting obsession and in a bid to distract from Boris Johnson’s scandals, Priti Patel has stepped the toxic rhetoric against asylum seekers – announcing the military will patrol the English Channel, and attempting to set up offshore detention centres.
Christian Wakeford has consistently voted for a stricter asylum system, and his new boss Keir Starmer has broken his promise to support free movement.
On immigration, just as on many other issues, Labour aligns with the Tories – completely ignoring Scotland’s interests again.
Out of touch on Scotland’s right to choose a better future
Keir Starmer tried to suggest that Labour is the party of devolution or promise “federalism”, but Christian Wakeford, his new MP, has consistently voted against further devolution for Scotland and Wales.
In the May 2021 Holyrood election, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar removed their election candidate, Hollie Cameron, simply for stating that Scotland should “have the right” to hold a second independence referendum.
In that election, the SNP gained votes and seats, and pro-independence parties got the highest ever amount of votes in any Scottish Parliament election.
There is a clear mandate for indyref2 and recent polls showed a majority supports a referendum in the current parliamentary term.
It’s telling that Labour instantly fires a young female candidate for supporting an independence referendum, but warmly welcomes a right-wing Tory MP who’s ready to ignore Scotland at every turn.