The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) took a major step last weekend towards resolving the internal crisis that has wracked the party over recent months.
Delegates at a well-attended national council meeting voted unanimously to hold a recall party conference in early October instead of the planned annual conference in March 2007.
The first day of the conference will focus on the debates surrounding the failure of the party leadership to support MSP Tommy Sheridan in his libel action against the News of the World (NotW) and will also include elections for a new executive council and national office bearers.
The second day will focus on the party’s campaign for the 2007 Scottish parliamentary elections.
There has been growing dissatisfaction amongst the SSP rank and file at the leadership’s failure over the past 18 months to support Sheridan in his fight with the Murdoch press.
That discontent came to a head at a special national council meeting four weeks ago. Members rejected the executive council’s proposed strategy in relation to the forthcoming court case and voted instead to give Sheridan full political support in his battle with the NotW.
Under a new and outward-looking leadership the party still has the potential to present a serious alternative both to New Labour and the SNP in the 2007 elections.
Iain Ferguson branch organiser Dennistoun SSP branch