Colin Smyth, Scottish Labour’s general secretary since 2008, has announced he’s stepping down in October. This follows media speculation over the last few days about the alleged suspension of senior spin doctor Rami Okasha. This is the full text of today’s news release:
Scottish Labour’s General Secretary has today announced that he will be stepping down from the role at the forthcoming Labour Party conference in October. After nearly 10 years working for the Labour Party, first as Scottish Organiser and since April 2008, as Scottish General Secretary, Colin Smyth has decided now is the time to take on new challenges.
Smyth said, “Working with the members and the staff of the Scottish Labour Party is a real privilege. However, after successfully being re-elected as Councillor in May, I decided to inform Johann that I wanted to take on new challenges that would give me more time to focus on that role. Having just got married and moved to a new home in Dumfries, I was keen to make that move now, before the demands of the rollercoaster of election campaigns starts again.
“There have been many highs in my time with the party, including helping deliver by election and General Election victories and the recent local elections has shown that Scottish Labour is beginning the fight back after the disappointment of the last Scottish Parliamentary elections.
“I fully support Johann in the task of rebuilding the Scottish Labour Party and will serve that cause in any way I am asked to.
“I wish her and all my colleagues well. This may be the end of my time as General Secretary but it is not the end of my commitment to the Scottish Labour Party.”
Johann Lamont said: “Colin Smyth has been and remains a dedicated servant of the Scottish Labour Party. I, on behalf of all the party, thank him for all he has done.
“I understand his reasons for deciding to move on but we will miss him in John Smith House.
“He has served the party well and I am delighted that he will continue to serve the party as a councillor in Dumfries, and, I am sure, in any other role the party calls upon him to fulfil in the future.”
Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party added, “Colin has been a dedicated, loyal and hardworking servant of our party over the past 10 years. He has given me great support in my first year as General Secretary and delivered a fantastic fight back in the Scottish local election this year.
“I look forward to working with Colin again in the coming years as he continues his political career. Everyone in the Labour Party wishes Colin the best for the future.”