A FORMER Labour MP has branded Kezia Dugdale’s consultation on the structure of her party “flawed” and futile.

In a strongly worded article Gemma Doyle, who lost her West Dunbartonshire seat at last year’s General Election, said any move to create an independent party north of the Border would lead to further problems.

Writing on Labour Hame website, she blamed the independence referendum for the demise of Scottish Labour – but said “it was worth it” as it kept Scotland in the UK.

“I am frankly raging as I write this. Having fought tooth and nail to keep the UK together, and seen the Scottish Labour Party nearly die in the process, it would be a slap in the face to decide to organise ourselves as though Scotland were independent,” she wrote.

“Scottish Labour’s demise is the combination of long and short-term factors. The short term is obvious. The referendum re-set Scottish politics and many of our voters left us because we were on a different side to them in the debate.”

She added: “Whilst deeply regrettable, and as someone who lost my seat in the ensuing tsunami, it was a price worth paying to keep the UK together.”

Doyle’s intervention comes a day after the new boss of one of the party’s biggest trade union backers described Scottish Labour as “divided” and “intent on self-harming”.

Gary Smith, the Scotland secretary of the GMB, told the Sunday Herald that Dugdale’s consultation on whether there should be an independent Scottish party was an “absolute farce” and said his union would not co-operate with it.

Beginning her article, Doyle argued: “The Scottish Labour Party is once again reviewing its structures and internal decision making. Hands up who thinks that the answer to our current predicament lies in reshuffling our decision-making processes? Anybody? No, didn’t think so. Worse than that, the basis of the consultation is flawed.”

She said previous reforms had devolved powers over policy-making decisions and established a Scottish policy forum. She said these, and other changes brought in by former leader Jim Murphy such as reorganising local branches, were sufficient.

She added that further autonomy could lead to the party north of the Border taking different stances on reserved issues which she said was confusing to voters.

Though not mentioning it by name, she attacked the decision by Scottish Labour not to back the renewal of Trident while the UK party continues to do so. “And where Scottish Labour decided to pursue a different policy on a reserved issue we ended up in a quagmire with voters completely confused about where we stood. The consultation accepts that Scottish Labour will have separate policy on reserved issues. That in itself is a major breakaway from Labour and has never been agreed by the membership,” she said.

“If the Scottish Labour Party decides to be separate, then the UK Labour Party is going to need to set up a Scottish branch for the members who want to stay with Labour. Then we really will have a branch office,” she said.

She added: “Where we do rely on the national party is for money and non-financial support (including in the form of amazing Labour Party organisers). All our campaign tools, our membership system, the constitution unit are developed and run centrally, for the benefit of the Labour Party in every part of England, in Wales and in Scotland. Long before UK Labour’s recent fundraising woes, Scottish Labour was finding donors’ doors closed to us. So whoever is pushing this agenda better have a good answer for where the extra money is going to come from as we wave the rest of our Labour family goodbye.”

Dugdale led Labour into third place behind the Tories in last month’s Holyrood election and lost more than 30 per cent of the votes compared to the 2011 poll.

After the election she launched a three-week consultation on the party’s internal structures, which included the option of setting up an independent party. The consultation closes this Friday.

Addressing Smith’s concerns, a Labour spokesperson said that the party was rebuilding itself and ensuring more decisions about it were taken in Scotland by Dugdale, her team and the wider membership.