SNP MP David Linden riles rivals with tribute to Labour legend
Labour neighbour tells him to just come and join his party if he likes their politicians so much
David Linden thought he was being nice by setting up a paid internship scheme named after Labour legend John Wheatley. But at least one of his city rivals didn't see it that way.
Linden is to take on an intern for three months from June through to September. Crucially the post will be paid as Linden seeks to encourage more working class young people into politics.
He's named the scheme after John Wheatley, an independent Labour MP who represented Shettleston - now in Linden's Glasgow East constituency - in the 1920s. Wheatley served as housing minister in the first Labour government and introduced landmark legislation that expanded the provision of council housing and drove up living standards among the poor. Linden claims Wheatley is a political hero of his.
But the move drew a sassy reply from fellow Glasgow MP, Labour's Paul Sweeney. He suggested that if Linden liked Labour politicians so much he should join the party and accused the SNP of having a 'threadbare' legacy.
Other SNP MPs and supporters accused Sweeney of being 'petty' and 'mean-spirited' in response leading the Labour MP to joke that he might set up a similar scheme named after SNP legend Winnie Ewing. Leading political commentator David Torrance suggested the SNP's 'appropriation' of Labour history was "getting out of hand". But Labour's leader on Glasgow council, Frank McAveety, welcomed the tribute to Wheatley.