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article imageUK Labour Party to cancel annual conference if Scotland votes Yes

By Mathew Wace Peck     Sep 17, 2014 in Politics
The Labour Party is understood to be preparing to cancel its annual party conference — due to be held next week — if Scotland votes “Yes” in tomorrow’s independence vote.
A report on the news appeared this morning on the UK site of the Huffington Post.
In it, the claim is made that “Labour sources confirmed that the party high command would cancel all speeches and fringe events, with the exception of the keynote address from Labour leader Ed Miliband […] if the Scots vote for independence.”
The Huffington Post piece goes on to say that strategists within the Labour Party are “operating on the assumption that a vote [in the Scottish independence referendum] to dissolve the union would result in a recall of [the UK] parliament next Monday.”
This would mean that all MPs would be expected to return to Westminster — not least because there could very well be a vote of “no confidence” tabled in British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Such events are unprecedented and would disrupt proceedings at Labour’s party conference, which is due to be held in Manchester. However, such a move is itself a risky strategy. Party conferences not only include speeches from members of the shadow cabinet but are also made up of dozens of fringe events, at which ordinary members of the party have their say.
Furthermore, this year’s conference marks the last prior to the 2015 UK general election and is important in that it will give the Labour Party coveted all-important media attention in the run-up to that election.
A “Yes” result in Scotland tomorrow will disproportionately affect Labour as the party currently holds 41 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Westminster. The Tories — generally reviled in Scotland — have just one Scottish MP.
More about Labour Party conference 2014, labour party conference, Ed Miliband, scottish independence, Yes Scotland
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