Scottish Union Leader Quits Labour Party In Protest At Sacking Of Sam Tarry

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Tarry, a shadow minister in the transport team, was sacked on Wednesday evening for a joining striking rail workers on the picket line. (Photo: UK Parliament)
Tarry, a shadow minister in the transport team, was sacked on Wednesday evening for a joining striking rail workers on the picket line. (Photo: UK Parliament)

Tarry, a shadow minister in the transport team, was sacked on Wednesday evening for a joining striking rail workers on the picket line. (Photo: UK Parliament)

A Scottish union leader has quit the Labour party in protest at the sacking of shadow minister Sam Tarry.

Kevin Lindsay, an organiser for the Aslef train drivers’ union in Scotland, said Tarry’s sacking was “a step too far” and a sign the party is “moving to the right and is becoming unrecognisable”.

Tarry, a shadow minister in the transport team, was sacked on Wednesday evening for a joining striking rail workers on the picket line.

The Labour Party said it had no choice but to sack Tarry because he had also done a round of broadcast interviews without permission of party HQ and had also “made up policy on the hoof”.

In response, Tarry told LBC Radio his sacking was a “catastrophic mistake” and warned that other colleagues could quit in protest.

“I think it’s wrong to state that any Labour politician — whether it be a councillor, whether it be an MP, whether it be a shadow minister — shouldn’t be showing solidarity,” he said.

“If it isn’t tackled properly, there’s going to be a real danger that it won’t just be me that’s sacked, I think you’ll see dozens and dozens of shadow ministers sacked across the whole country.” Speaking to Times Radio, he called Starmer’s decision to ban his team from joining the picket line a “catastrophic mistake.”

Lindsay is one of a number of union bosses to express anger at Tarry’s sacking.

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, described the sacking as “another insult to the trade union movement” while Mick Lynch, the head of the RMT union, accused Starmer of “playing up to the agenda of Liz Truss and the right wing press”.

In a letter to the party confirming his resignation, Lindsay wrote: “The Labour Party was and is meant to be the political wing of the trade union movement but now it’s more interested in trying woo Tory voters in the shires of England than representing working people.

“As a democrat, I respect that Keir Starmer has been elected the leader but I truly believe his performance and policies are making it impossible for the Labour Party to return to power and that he should be removed from his position immediately.

“There needs to be a change in leadership and political direction but I sadly can’t see this happening and we will end up with PM Truss for several years.

“Therefore I have made the decision not only to resign from the Labour Party but now also support the proposal for Aslef to disaffiliate from the party.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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