The Scottish Labour Party has moved to distance itself from a Dundee candidate who made social media comments about the party’s reaction to the death of Prince Philip.
On Saturday the UK Labour Party announced it would suspend campaigning “as a mark of respect” following the death of the Queen’s Consort, age 99, adding that “leafleting will be permitted with a full return to campaigning on Tuesday.”
However Mercedes Villalba, a Labour candidate for Dundee City West, questioned why the Duke of Edinburgh should be “entitled to more respect than any of the many others who die every day.
“How can we proclaim to be the party of equality while treating people with hereditary titles with more respect? Surely this is plainly illogical” the trade union activist asked.
This implies that Philip is entitled to more respect than any of the many others who die every day. How can we proclaim to be the party of equality while treating people with hereditary titles with more respect? Surely this is plainly illogical? https://t.co/r1qNzwbhgQ
— Mercedes Villalba (@LabourMercedes) April 10, 2021
A party spokesperson says Ms Villalba’s comment “does not represent the views of the Scottish Labour Party.”
“We have suspended campaigning. Scotland is mourning the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh, a dedicated public servant”
“The Scottish Labour Party offer our deepest sympathies to the entire Royal Family and Her Majesty The Queen.”
A number of Twitter users had clicked ‘like’ on Ms Villalba’s comments including several left-wing activists and Ben Lawrie, a Liberal Democrat Councillor for Monifieth and Sidlaw who is a standing as a candidate for Angus South in the Holyrood election.
Scotland’s main political parties have all suspended their campaigns as a mark of respect this weekend following the death of Prince Philip on Friday, although election campaigning will resume in the coming days.
Tributes to the Duke will be made during a special sitting of the Scottish Parliament on Monday, as well as in the House of Commons and the Welsh Senedd.
Some campaigning will get underway immediately after the session but parties have confirmed proceedings will be suspended again on April 17, the day of his funeral.
Parties are likely to have another pause in campaigning next Saturday when the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral takes place.