MP Jim Murphy in Labour leader bid


Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Jim Murphy MP has announced he is to stand as the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party in a bid to become the First Minister.

Mr Murphy will face MSPs Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack in the race to replace Johann Lamont, who resigned on Friday with a stinging attack on UK Labour colleagues who she accused of treating Scotland as a “branch office”.

The East Renfrewshire MP said he wants to unite Scotland following the referendum.

Mr Murphy, shadow secretary of state for international development, said: “I’m standing for First Minister of Scotland and I intend to win.

“I want to bring Scotland back together after the referendum. There is so much to be proud of in Scotland but so much we have to change.

“I’ve travelled to every part of our country and I know that people want us to get on with tackling poverty and increasing prosperity. As leader of Scottish Labour and as First Minister of Scotland that is exactly what I will do.”

He will launch a formal campaign later this week.

Mr Murphy played a key role for Better Together during the referendum campaign when he carried out his pro-Union 100 Streets in 100 Days tour.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown and interim leader Anas Sarwar previously ruled themselves out of the running in the leadership contest.

Lothians MSP Mr Findlay, Labour’s health spokesman, also announced his intention to stand yesterday.

He said: ”I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from people from within the Labour Party and across the wider Labour movement all urging me to stand.

”It is no secret that I wanted Gordon Brown to run but since Gordon has ruled himself out I now believe we need to have a wide-ranging debate about the way forward for the Labour Party, but more importantly the country.

”I want to bring the Labour Party together to work for progressive change and create a fairer, more equal and prosperous Scotland.

”If elected Labour leader I will put the issue of social justice at the heart of everything we do – this is the historic mission of the Scottish Labour Party but it also has to be about what we deliver for the Scottish people in this post-referendum period.”

Ms Boyack, who represents Lothians, co-chaired the review of Scottish Labour with her rival candidate Jim Murphy in 2011, which was designed to make the Scottish leader head of the entire party in Scotland including MPs, MSPs, MEPs and officials.

She announced her intention to stand on Tuesday.

She said: ”Scottish Labour is going to be the key party in the run-up to the UK elections.

”It’s absolutely crucial that we get an Ed Miliband government elected.

”So, that’s why I believe in putting my name forward. I can work with colleagues and I can take that debate forward. That is the key thing.

”I did the review of the Labour Party just a couple of years ago. There’s unfinished business there.

”But the key thing is what does the Labour Party stand for, how can we work together and how can we support people around the country?”

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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