ONE of Scotland’s most senior trade unionists has resigned from Labour and called for his union to disaffiliate from the party.

It comes in the wake of Sir Keir Starmer’s sacking of shadow transport minister Sam Tarry for attending a rail workers’ picket line at London's Euston train station on Wednesday. 

The MP went against Starmer’s instructions to stay away from the strikes taking place across the UK. 

In a letter to the party, Kevin Lindsay,  Scotland organiser for train drivers' union Aslef, said the sacking was “just a step too far” for him to continue his membership of the party.

He added that under Starmer’s leadership “the party is moving to the right and is becoming unrecognisable” from the one which he joined. 

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Despite praise for Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who has been seen on RMT picket lines, Lindsay wrote after the incident: “The Labour Party was and is meant to be the political wing of the trade union movement but now it’s more interested in trying to woo Tory voters in the shires of England than representing working people.

“As a democrat, I respect that Keir Starmer has been elected the leader but I truly believe his performance and policies are making it impossible for the Labour Party to return to power and that he should be removed from his position immediately. 

“There needs to be a change in leadership and political direction but I sadly can’t see this happening and we will end up with PM [Liz] Truss for several years.

“Therefore I have made the decision not only to resign from the Labour Party but now also support the proposal for Aslef to disaffiliate from the Party.”

A Labour spokesperson said the party will "always stand up for working people".

“This isn’t about appearing on a picket line," they said. "Members of the frontbench sign up to collective responsibility. That includes media appearances being approved and speaking to agreed frontbench positions.

“As a government in waiting, any breach of collective responsibility is taken extremely seriously and for these reasons Sam Tarry has been removed from the frontbench.”

Before his sacking, Tarry said: “I’ve no idea what Keir will decide to do but I know this, if Keir was in government right now, this dispute wouldn’t be happening.”

Asked about Tarry's [below] sacking, Starmer repeated the party line during a visit to Birmingham. He said: "Sam Tarry was sacked because he booked himself onto media programmes without permission, and then made up policy on the hoof, and that can't be tolerated in any organisation because we've got collective responsibility. 

The National: Sam Tarry was sacked for joining a picket line where rail workers were strikingSam Tarry was sacked for joining a picket line where rail workers were striking

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"So that was relatively straightforward.

"Of course, as far as the industrial action is concerned, I completely understand the frustration of so many working people who've seen the prices go up, seen inflation through the roof, and their wages haven't gone up.

"So the Labour Party will always be on the side of working people, but we need collective responsibility, as any organisation does."

RMT’s Scotland organiser Gordon Martin said that the way negotiations were going, it is looking likely that there will be further pickets on August 18 and 20.