Robert James McNeill is the vice chairman of the East Lothian Constituency Labour Party and chair of the Tranent Local Labour Party. He’s also a member of the Scottish Labour Party Policy Forum, which develops the Scottish Labour manifesto.
Within the last hour he’s removed all that information from his Twitter bio. But why?
Well, it might be something to do with these.
Now, being actively pro-nuclear weapons is admittedly only a slight deviation from official Labour policy, which still pretends to want to spend £100bn on Trident solely so that it can give it away in multilateral disarmament negotiations. Mr McNeill’s angry attack over the cancellation of poll tax debt is a bit more embarrassing, given that Labour voted for it.
But it’s the first one, in which he actively calls on people to vote Conservative in seven Scottish seats at the forthcoming election, that’ll raise a few eyebrows, particularly as Mr McNeill’s recent timeline is otherwise confusingly full of furious denunciations of the SNP for allegedly collaborating with the Tories.
(It’s particularly ironic as East Lothian Council is, yes, a Labour/Tory coalition.)
If people actually succeeded in tactical voting as per the chart above, Labour would gain two seats from the Lib Dems and the Tories would gain six from the SNP – a net gain for the Tories against Labour of four seats, making it MORE likely the Tories would be the largest party and thereby, according to Labour, form the government.
So it seems legitimate to ask whether voting to increase the number of Tory MPs in Scotland by 600% is official Scottish Labour Party Policy Forum policy now.
If not, perhaps someone needs to have a word.
EDIT 12.05: Mr McNeill’s Twitter account has been deleted.