Ian Murray throws hat into ring for deputy leadership

© Chris McAndrew / Wikimedia Commons

Ian Murray, who became Labour’s only Scottish MP at the general election last month, has thrown his hat into ring for the deputy leadership in a bid to replace Tom Watson.

He will join Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler, Richard Burgon, Khalid Mahmood, Conor McGinn and likely frontrunner Angela Rayner in the contest, which will run alongside the main leadership race and conclude on April 4th.

Unveiling his bid in a Daily Mirror article, the Edinburgh South MP argued that Labour “must change” in order to become a “credible alternative government of the future, not a protest movement of the past”.

He particularly highlighted his experience of politics in Scotland – “where populist nationalism had its first victory in the UK” – and suggested that lessons learned could inform Labour’s broader approach.

Murray laid out a four-point plan for Labour to win power, from reconnecting with voters in seats lost and being clear on the “key issues of the day” to reforming the current party organisation and building an “open and inclusive policy process”.

Making his pitch for deputy leader, the Scottish 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.”

Addressing the future direction of the party, he added: “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.”

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