Labour party leadership candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey, has called for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments to be placed on an “equal footing” with the House of Commons, instead of remaining “servile” satellites of Westminster.
Speaking at the latest Labour party leadership hustings in Leeds, Long-Bailey said Holyrood (Scottish Parliament) and the Welsh Assembly should be as “autonomous and independent” as possible.
Long-Bailey’s support for “devolution max” has been interpreted as an attempt to win back lost ground for the Labour party, particularly in Scotland.
By stark contrast, one of her rivals for the leadership position, Emily Thornberry, was scathing about greater Scottish autonomy in general and the Scottish National Party (SNP) in particular.
“I hate the SNP … I think they are Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing”, Thornberry said in arrogant and scornful tones.
Long-Bailey’s strong performance in Leeds yesterday came in the wake of her securing the support of the Unite trade union on January 24.
According to Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, it was the “overwhelming view” of the union’s ruling executive that “Becky [Rebecca] has both the brains and brilliance to take on Boris Johnson”.
“She’s incredibly committed; very, very strong in her beliefs and her vision, for winning back our heartlands, but also speaking about the aspirational needs of the whole of our nation”, McCluskey added.
Unite is Britain’s biggest trade union and their resounding endorsement of Long-bailey takes her one step closer to winning the leadership race, which is set to conclude in early April.