Scots MP Ian Murray launches Labour deputy leader bid

The MP retained his Edinburgh South seat with a majority of more than 11,000 in the December election.

Scotland’s only Labour MP has confirmed his bid to stand for deputy leader of the party.

Ian Murray, 43, retained his Edinburgh South seat with a majority of more than 11,000 in the December election and said Labour must change and become a “credible alternative government of the future, not a protest movement of the past”.

Announcing the move on Tuesday, the former shadow Scottish secretary said: “I’m standing to be deputy leader of the Labour Party because I want to help us win power to transform lives. 

“Growing up on the Wester Hailes council estate in Edinburgh, the Tory Government believed families like ours didn’t deserve support. But my mum and my teachers told me and my brother there was nothing we couldn’t achieve.

“I want that hope and aspiration for every child. That’s what the Labour Party can deliver when it’s in power.

“The architects of the party’s catastrophic failure in 2019 cannot be allowed to be the architects of the response.

“The next leadership team must turn us into an election-winning machine that uses the skills and talents of all our members and supporters to succeed.

“To win again we will need to beat the odds, and I know how to win by building broad coalitions of support. 

“The Labour Party must change. We must be honest with ourselves so we can be honest with the voters.

“Looking to the past will only prolong our years in the wilderness and put our country at risk.

“We must become a credible alternative government of the future, not a protest movement of the past.

“That’s how we lift millions of children, families, and pensioners out of poverty again.”

Murray outlined four ways in which to turn Labour into an “election-winning machine”.

He added: “We must listen to and reconnect with voters in the seats we lost, as well as those who abandoned us in the seats we hold. We must also listen to those in seats we will never win and build our response from there.  

“With Scotland’s voice at the top of the party we can send a strong message that we are listening to all the nations and regions, and that the entire party can learn from Scotland where populist nationalism had its first victory in the UK.

“Second, we must be clear about where we stand on the key issues of the day.

“Voters don’t want politicians to agree with them all the time – they want us to have the debate and try to convince them. 

“On the major constitutional issues of our time – Scottish independence and Brexit – we must be clear with people where we stand. We should always be a pro-EU and pro-UK party because it is not just in the national interest, but part of our values. We must show leadership and strength to make and win those arguments. 

“Third, we must reform our organisation. As deputy leader I would launch a review of our organisation – working alongside members and party staff – to understand the mistakes that were made and how we can fix them for the future. The current party organisation should not be changed until the new leadership team is in place.

“Finally, we need an open and inclusive policy process to lead us to Labour’s next manifesto. “I believe Labour can win again, but we will only turn this round if we don’t dwell on the past and instead look to the future.”

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