A leading Labour MP has warned his party in Scotland could suffer at the next General Election after the resignation of its general secretary.
Brian Roy quit last week after a meeting with Scottish leader Richard Leonard and Jeremy Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy.
Earlier in the week, shadow chancellor John McDonnell had twice contradicted Scottish Labour’s policy of opposition to a second independence referendum.
Murphy was at the centre of controversy in 2013 when she tried to become Labour’s Westminster candidate in Falkirk.
When Eric Joyce quit after a brawl in a House of Commons bar, it opened up a by-election where trade union Unite were accused of trying to force Murphy onto the ballot paper.
She withdrew her nomination but was later appointed as Corbyn’s chief of staff.
She is currently carrying out some duties for the party’s UK general secretary, Jennie Formby, who has breast cancer, but her attendance at the meeting has been questioned.
Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, said: “We may just be weeks away from an election being called and we’ve lost the best election organiser in the party at a crucial juncture.
“Brian’s expertise, institutional knowledge and the respect he has from all of the party is irreplaceable. Our hard work to win back the trust of the voters now becomes even harder without him.”
Some Labour insiders said that Leonard had lost confidence in Roy, while others said he was being made a scapegoat for the party’s poor results in the European Parliament elections, when the party came fifth.