Leadership candidates call for greater autonomy for Scottish Labour

Two Scottish Leadership candidates will today set out how Scottish Labour would be more autonomous from the national party under their leadership.

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In a speech in his constituency this morning, Jim Murphy will say that under his leadership, Scottish Labour will take more responsibility for fundraising, policy, staffing and campaign activity. That includes an announcement today that Murphy would keep the £155,000 levy currently paid to the UK Party by Scottish Labour councillors in Scotland – and he’s already written to General Secretary Iain McNicol to inform him.

Murphy will also outline other organisational changes that he’d implement if he became Scottish Labour leader, including:

  • The Scottish Labour General Secretary will be hired by the Scottish Labour leader, as will all Scottish party staff
  • To set a fundraising target of £1 million by May 2015, through increased donations from trade unions, businesses and individuals, as well as attracting more members to the party
  • To invest at least £5,000 in each Scottish and UK Parliamentary seat currently held by Scottish Labour and in the key target seats for 2016;
  • To employ at least one paid organiser in every Scottish Parliament region
  • To appoint a representative of Scottish Labour’s councillors to the political cabinet;
  • To implement move towards an all-year round campaigning party

Meanwhile, Neil Findlay has promised a “bigger, better and more autonomous” Scottish Labour. The MSP yesterday called for councils to have power over whether fracking takes place in their local area, and in a statement released today, said:

“The next leader of the Labour Party in Scotland will have unprecedented powers over the structures and procedures of the party. If I am elected as leader of the Scottish Labour Party I make this promise to all members of the Labour Party and affiliates, including trade unions that I will listen and work with them as together we work to make Scottish Labour bigger, better and more autonomous. A Labour Party has to be collective and co-operative in nature – and under a Neil Findlay leadership , that’s what the Scottish Labour Party will be”

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