HeadLine: McConnell told to “sort his act out”
The Mirror, 19/10/2002, p2
by SHAUN MILNE
SCOTTISH Labour Party chiefs were last night going through their books
with a fine tooth comb – just 24 hours after the Scottish Daily Mirror
demanded they come clean.
An unofficial edict was dispatched from Labour bosses in London
demanding that the Party “sorts its act out” in Scotland and puts an
end to further damaging claims.
Scottish Labour has already suffered more than a week of claims
surrounding the accounts at First Minister Jack McConnell’s Motherwell
and Wishaw constituency office.
He was grilled over an £11,000 black hole in funds, paying a hotel room
for his PA and claiming it back, and donations made to his office which
should have been declared.
Labour was left reeling further after it was revealed that 44 offices
had funding links with unions – but around 40 had not registered
A Party source told the Daily Mirror: “They have been warned to sort
this mess out.
“It is a Scottish problem but the fall-out is spilling over into London.
“Calls have been made, you can take it as read that Jack McConnell and
Lesley Quinn have been told in no uncertain terms that they must put a
lid on this once and for all.
“This is a storm in a tea-cup which could have been laid to bed days
“It has not. It’s been allowed to drag on and on and it has to be
stopped in its tracks.”
Labour General Secretary David Triesman has been given the job of
making sure the matter is dealt with, swiftly.
He was locked in talks with his opposite number, Scottish General
Secretary Lesley Quinn, on how to proceed.
Mr Triesman said yesterday: “Given the evidence of some lapses in
registration that have come to light, I have arranged for immediate
action to be taken to ensure that any lapse in registration is
But SNP leader John Swinney hit out, saying: “Labour in Scotland has
been in power so long it believes that it can do what it wants and that
it is answerable to no one.”
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