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Reid Foundation marred by internal wrangling

This news post is over 8 years old
 

Founding members of thinktank set up in memory of trade union leader Jimmy Reid fight over its future

The daughter of late former union leader Jimmy Reid has voiced her concerns over tensions fuelling at the heart of a Scottish left-wing thinktank founded in her father’s honour.

Eileen Reid confirmed reports that two senior figures of The Reid Foundation, director Robin McAlpine and convenor Bob Thomson, are embroiled in a feud over plans and ambitions for the body.

An article written by Kenneth Roy on its sister publication, the Scottish Left Review, suggested that the foundation’s future is uncertain as the pair struggle to agree on fielding political candidates.

In a statement, Reid said: “Sadly, Kenneth Roy's piece in the Scottish Review about Jimmy Reid's legacy is a broadly accurate description of the unfortunate state of affairs within The Reid Foundation.

"The Reid family's concern is to try as much as we can to protect Jimmy's memory and legacy, and to ensure as far as possible that all those who act in his name do so in a manner which respects in a dignified manner his values and humanitarianism.

The Reid family's concern is to try as much as we can to protect Jimmy's memory and legacy

"However, there is very little the family can do to resolve the current situation, as we do not have a seat on the Scottish Left Review editorial board which governs the Jimmy Reid Foundation Project Board.

"Therefore although we are concerned, we have no formal power or influence to do anything about the current tensions and disagreements but we are hopeful that these will be resolved as soon as possible by the Jimmy Reid Foundation and the Scottish Left Review."

The foundation, which was set up as a non-partisan thinktank, has no independent legal status but is managed by Left Review Scotland Ltd.

The scandal emerged last week after McAlpine declared future strategies for the Foundation’s Common Weal project – an initiative which promotes a socially democratic future for Scotland through policy research.

Addressing the audience at a conference, he voiced his ambitions for the Common Weal – such as a digital newspaper, a film unit and putting political candidates forward to stand in the 2016 Holyrood elections – plans which had not been discussed with either Reid’s family or Thomson.

Thomson rebutted the claims, saying that forming a political party goes against the values of the non-partisan Reid Foundation, and that it would find it difficult to fund such projects.

Robin McAlpine said: “I’m very concerned about publicising business to the media. It’s undignified and inappropriate behaviour for such an organisation.

“I find these actions reprehensible and I do not want to start a media war.”

He added: “The governing of the Common Weal will continue.”

 

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