EXCLUSIVE: Irvine Welsh takes aim at Labour over Fife candidate’s treatment

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh has taken a swipe at Sir Keir Starmer and Labour after a Fife Labour stalwart was sidelined after concerns were raised about his fantasy novels.

We revealed on Tuesday that Altany Craik – a supernatural horror writer – was directed to stand down from an internal contest to decide the party’s candidate in Glenrothes because of party reservations surrounding his books.

The long-serving councillor is expected to issue a statement publicly saying he is withdrawing for “family reasons”.

But his treatment has angered colleagues and voters.

A source told us: “They’re saying he’s not a suitable candidate because his books are too sexy and satanic.”

‘Insane moment’

Mr Welsh – also famed for writing Filth, The Acid House, Porno and Glue – told The Courier: “I’ve never heard of this guy but Barbara Cartland‘s novels would be too sexy and satanic for Starmer’s Labour Party.”

Dame Barbara, who died in 2000, was Princess Diana’s favourite novelist and the author of titles such as Sweet Punishment, The Disgraceful Duke, Dancing on a Rainbow and The Magic of Love.

Irvine Welsh.

Mr Craik had been seeking support from members to stand as the Labour candidate for Glenrothes at the General Election, expected next year.

However the internal contest has now been suspended following the last-minute intervention.

One commentator joked: “Brings a new meaning to losing the whip…”

Another added: “Insane moment in Scottish politics.”

Fife Labour fury

Broadcaster Michael Crick, writing on his @tomorrowsmps account, said: “Surely Wes Streeting’s tweets in 2009 about wanting to push Daily Mail journalist Jan Moir under a train were far worse than any fiction that Altany Craik can have written?

“Streeting [now shadow health secretary] was 26 at the time and NUS president.”

First elected in 2012 for the Glenrothes West and Kinglassie ward, Mr Craik is the second most senior councillor in the Kingdom’s Labour-led administration, serving as the spokesperson for finance, economy and strategic planning.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Image: PA
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Image: PA

Fife Labour insiders have reacted furiously since The Courier broke the story.

They claim Mr Craik – “brave enough to stand” even when the party expected to be trounced by the SNP – has been abandoned.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Selection processes for Scottish Labour parliamentary candidates are properly administered in full accordance with procedures set by the Scottish Executive Committee.”

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