LABOUR MUST CLARIFY MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS

LABOUR MUST CLARIFY MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS

The SNP is today calling on new Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy to clarify how many members the party has – following a number of contradictory claims.

A few weeks ago, Labour membership was reported to be 13,000. At the weekend, it was briefed that the figure was 14,000. However, in an interview on last night’s Scotland Tonight Mr Murphy claimed the figure was higher, stating: “I think it’s about 20,000 or so now.”

The SNP has consistently been upfront about our membership figures – which were at just under 25,000 on referendum day and now stand at over 93,000. And while all other parties – including the UK Labour party – have made their membership figures known during leadership elections, the Scottish Labour party has failed to publish membership figures for at least the last three leadership contests.

Mr Murphy also claimed that joining the SNP costs £1 when the cost is £12 annually.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“It is ludicrous that the new Scottish Labour leader has no idea how many members his party has. If Jim Murphy is serious about turning over a new leaf under his leadership, he should start by clarifying how many members his party actually has. Every other party – including UK Labour – has done this.

“A few weeks ago, the figure was said to be less than 13,000. At the weekend, it was claimed to be 14,000. And then yesterday the figure climbed again with Mr Murphy claiming he thinks there are 20,000 members.

“The SNP has consistently been upfront about our membership figures – which were at just under 25,000 on referendum day and now stand at over 93,000.

“With Labour unable to tell us how many members they have it is no wonder support for the party continues to fall. The latest YouGov poll revealed a 20 point lead over Labour for the SNP for the General Election and a 22 point lead for Holyrood.

“It is clear that Mr Murphy faces an uphill struggle to turn around a party treated as a ‘branch office’ by London. Following ex-advisor Paul Sinclair’s revelations Labour MPs see Westminster as a way to escape Scotland, Scottish Labour members have every right to feel undervalued by their party.

“In contrast, more and more people are giving the SNP their backing as the party to stand up for Scotland – at Holyrood and at Westminster.”

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Jim Murphy was interviewed on last night’s edition of Scotland Tonight.

Minimum membership fees for the SNP are £5 annually for the unwaged and £12 annually for everyone else: https://my.snp.org/join

The SNP has consistently been upfront about our membership figures, as have other parties – including UK Labour:

The SNP published membership numbers when Alex Salmond was elected leader: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3622728.stm

And also when Stewart Hosie was elected deputy leader: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30052173

The Scottish LibDems published membership numbers when Tavish Scott was elected leader: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7581344.stm

The Scottish Tories published membership numbers when Ruth Davidson was elected leader: http://www.scottishconservatives.com/news/news/ruth-davidson-elected-as-leader-of-the-scottish/1477

The UK LibDems published membership numbers when Nick Clegg was elected leader: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7148367.stm

The UK Tories published membership numbers when David Cameron was elected leader: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4502652.stm

And even UK Labour published membership numbers by electoral college when Ed Miliband was elected leader: http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/leaders/labour2010.htm