Mike Russell says Labor is trying to get in the SNP leadership race

The charges came as he hit back at Jackie Baillie after she expressed fears about the integrity of the vote.

The deputy leader of the Scottish Labor Party wrote to the SNP president on Monday, duplicating the Electoral Commission and asking for confirmation that the processes used for the contest were “fully secure from hacking and interference”.

She also asked if the vote would be “entirely independent of the party” and whether Chief Executive Peter Murrell – husband of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – would “fully apologize” from the process.

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Dumbarton’s MSP also questioned the technology used, asking whether the voting system met statutory standards for union elections and whether the results were “fully publicized”.

In his reply, Mr Russell hailed what he described as Ms Baillie’s “implicit support for the democratic process”.

He said it was “particularly noteworthy given your previous refusal to accept this universal norm in view of the clear mandate given to the SNP in successive elections to hold an independence referendum.

“It is an unexpected but fortunate conversion and I hope you will now capitalize on your newfound enthusiasm by campaigning within the Labor Party and the Scottish Parliament for Scotland’s right to vote, and joining forces with whoever is elected First Minister the end of this month.”

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He said Ms Bailie had “for many years ensured that members were well served by arranging independently conducted and verified internal elections”.

The former minister said the company tasked with conducting the vote did so to the “highest standards” and conducted union elections.

He said it is National Secretary Lorna Finn rather than Mr Murrell who controls the party’s elections.

“They will therefore happily acknowledge the absolute guarantee that whoever wins will do so as the result of free, fair and open competition that conforms to best practices for such voting.”

“In conclusion, I can assure you that as a party we are fully aware of our heavy responsibility at this time, as the person elected will not only be our leader, but also our candidate for the post of First Minister.

“Consequently. We will firmly oppose any interference in these matters, including rejecting any attempt to appear publicly as contained in your letter.”

Labor was asked for comment.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/23371570.mike-russell-says-labour-trying-interfere-snp-leadership-race/?ref=rss Mike Russell says Labor is trying to get in the SNP leadership race

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