Wendy: 'We're going to have a referendum'
Commenting on Wendy Alexander's appearance on BBC Radio 4's 'Any Questions' last night (and which will be rebroadcast at 1.10pm today), where she returned to her demand for a referendum on independence, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said that she had backed Labour into a constitutional corner whilst exposing her failing leadership to a wider UK audience.
Mr Gibson said:
"Wendy Alexander has performed so many u-turns on an independence referendum that Labour are dizzy, disorientated and depressed.
"By reviving her call for an independence referendum, Wendy Alexander has backed the Labour Party into a constitutional corner – while also exposing how the party is disintegrating in Scotland and across the UK. In Scotland, she has left Labour with no real choice but to back the Scottish Government’s planned Referendum Bill in 2010 – which is great for the SNP and great for Scotland.
"Retreating from her 'bring it on’ stance after being disowned by Gordon Brown, Wendy Alexander has now returned to it and brought chaos back to her party north and south of the Border.
"Again, she was obviously squirming when challenged to say if she had Gordon Brown's backing for the policy – a point she misled the people of Scotland about on Newsnight Scotland last month.
"The one thing that has been made clear by Wendy Alexander is Labour's concession of the right of the Scottish Parliament to consult the people on independence for Scotland – which is a thoroughly welcome step forward.
"After being exposed to the extraordinary twists and turns of the Labour leader in Scotland, an audience across the UK now understand why Wendy Alexander's failing leadership is draining away."
Also during 'Any Questions', Wendy Alexander failed to back the comments on C. Difficile at Vale of Leven made by Jackie Baillie at First Minister's Questions last Thursday, when she alleged that Ministers had not acted on C. Difficile guidelines. Commenting, SNP MSP Dr Ian McKee said:
"Wendy Alexander clearly distanced herself from Jackie Baillie's allegations. This was wise, as Jackie Baillie's comments were untrue. Both Jackie Baillie and Labour's health spokeswoman, Margaret Curran, have made allegations with regard to the very serious situation at Vale of Leven which are wrong. The issue is far too important for this kind of politicking, and I hope that Wendy Alexander’s failure to stand by the comments of her colleagues shows that she agrees."
1. BBC Radio 4's 'Any Questions' will be repeated at 1.10pm today.
2. Transcript of exchanges on Newsnight Scotland (6th May 2008) where Wendy Alexander specifically stated that she had the endorsement of Gordon Brown for her support for a referendum:
GORDON BREWER : The question I asked you. Is Gordon Brown endorsing your decision to call for a Referendum?
WENDY ALEXANDER MSP :Yes.
GORDON BREWER : He is endorsing it and he has told you that.
WENDY ALEXANDER MSP : Yes.
GORDON BREWER : So any suggestions that you bounced him into this are wrong.
WENDY ALEXANDER MSP : Yes. They're wrong. I am not asking Westminster to deal with this issue, I am saying that in Scotland the SNP are saying they don't want to deal with this issue and we are saying we would like the issue dealt with.