SCOTTISH Young Labour have called on members to join them in leaving the party's annual conference to call for an immediate ceasefire.

Members of the party's youth wing shared with The National their “frustration” with the UK leadership, with one as a Scottish Executive Committee member sharing that she doesn't want "to sit up on a stage and nod happily when they're taking completely morally unjustifiable positions”.

George Taylor, who is running for chair of Scottish Young Labour, and Lauren Harper, a youth representative on the Scottish Executive Committee, are both members of the party's socialist wing, and are heading to the conference in Glasgow this weekend.

They both intend to leave the SEC hall to join the demonstration calling for a ceasefire, with Taylor stating: “The eyes of the press are going to be on Glasgow this weekend, so I think it's very important that we make use of that.”

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Keir Starmer, who is expected to address delegates this weekend, has refused to back an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Taylor, 26, a member of Scottish Labour from Aberdeen, said his branch put out a statement on Palestine early in the war, after Anas Sarwar and other Scottish Labour leadership figures voiced their support for an immediate ceasefire.

He said: “It was really frustrating in November of last year where you had the Scottish party at odds with the UK party – and now, it is good to see frontbench of the UK party and shadow ministers supporting a ceasefire and supporting an end to the violence – but it has been a long time for them to come around to that position, which is unfortunate.”

As a post-graduate in energy transition, Taylor said that organising in the Labour party for him is relevant to his degree's social and global justice links.

He said: “I'm very much for Scottish Young Labour having discussions on policies around energy and around global justice and around kind of international humanitarian policies. They all connect together.”

The National:

When asked how he felt when Labour announced they had dropped their £28 billion green pledge, he said “it’s very, very worrying that the UK leadership are not interested in offering policies for young people”.

He added: "If the green prosperity plan policy had been - in full - in the manifesto for the General Election, it would have been a really, really useful kind of the policy to attract young voters right now.

“Right now, what we're getting is the UK leadership giving us a list of things of that they’re not going to do. They're not going to in the green prosperity plan, they're not going to offer material policies for young people. So that's a real problem.”

Taylor said the Scottish party should be campaigning on green investments and its Green New Deal due to its "pertinence" for young people here.

“It doesn't make it easy when the UK party is backtracking and going against that direction," he added.

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Taylor believes the party does listen to its young members, and that’s why he hopes action they take this weekend will make the UK party see “what they want”.

“It’s really important for young people in the movement to put forward their voice to the party, particularly on issues that matter to young people like the conflict in Gaza and the environmental crisis."

He added: “A ceasefire is still possible, and Labour should wholeheartedly be calling for it – that is what the demo is there to do.”

The National:

Harper (above left) from Stirling will also be in attendance at the weekend, and told The National that she will “absolutely” be joining the protest and bring her Palestine flag.

The 22-year-old was recently elected to the Scottish Executive Committee of the party as a youth representative after being in the party since 2018. She said she has found it “very hard to justify” Labour’s stances on Palestine.

Harper said she was grateful to have the Campaign for Socialism (CFS) in the party as a space for socialist ideas to continue in the party. The group has an unwavering commitment to calling for a ceasefire.

She also revealed that she was part of the effort to ensure those who tried to pass ceasefire motions in their branches would not face disciplinary action.

She said: “I just think that the kind of difference and the line that has been taken by the UK Party with regards to Ukraine and Palestine, that sense of institutionalised racism in the party, which I find really hard to justify it.

“What CFS are really good at doing is challenging that”.

READ MORE: 'Scottish Labour should join pro-Palestine protest – but they won't'

Harper said the Labour party today “is not the one I joined”.

Back in 2022, Sarwar expressed the same sentiment when reflecting on his time as a young member marching against the Iraq war in 2003.

When asked what she Scottish Labour could do to influence the UK party leadership, Harper said: “I think we need to be treated more as an independent party and not just a devolved nation that Keir comes up to whenever there's a by-election.

“And if I’m campaigning for a candidate, I do ask them their position on Gaza and if they are against it [a ceasefire], I won’t go.”

Harper also defended pro-Palestine protesters who have confronted Labour MPs such as Michael Shanks, who did not vote in favour of a ceasefire in November.

“In my opinion, as part of living in a democracy is being able to go seek your MP out and say ‘hey, why didn’t you vote for this? I’m your constituent and it doesn’t represent my views’," she explained.

The pair's comments come as the SNPs depute leader branded the party "completely out of touch with Scotland's values", with conference starting today.

Keith Brown MSP said: "Whether it's Sir Keir Starmer's refusal to end Tory austerity, Labour's conspiracy of silence on the damage of Brexit or the party's failure to back a ceasefire to end the suffering in Gaza, Labour is completely out of touch with Scotland's values.

"As Labour's branch office in Scotland meets this weekend, they need to outline how their values - to end the cap on banker's bonuses, to keep the hated two-child cap and to throw £28bn green investment pledge on the scrapheap - reflect the values of the people of Scotland.”