Ian Murray MP for Edinburgh South has confirmed the worst kept secret in town this morning. He is standing for election as deputy leader of the Labour Party.
He says Labour must change and become a ‘credible alternative government of the future, not a protest movement of the past’.
When he was elected in December he was not yet aware that he would be the only Labour MP in Scotland once again, or that Jeremy Corbyn would step down as leader. But he knew then that he had won his seat with a majority of over 11,000 votes.
Ian Murray was brought up in Wester Hailes by his mother alone after his dad died suddenly at the age of 39. He worked in a fish and chip shop before going to University of Edinburgh where he studied social policy and law. He then worked for Royal Blind and Scottish Equitable, ran music festivals and ran two bars in Edinburgh. He was first elected as a councillor then an MP in 2010.
He served as Shadow Scottish Secretary from 2015 to 2016. Last year he helped to lead the campaign for a People’s Vote and was at the forefront of some of the Brexit court actions. He campaigned for Scotland to remain in the UK as well as in Europe.
A lifelong Hearts supporter he was chair of Foundation of Hearts which saved the club from extinction.
Reasons for standing
Labour deputy leadership candidate Ian Murray MP 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.”
Ian outlined four ways to turn Labour into an election-winning machine.
He said: “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.”