Ian Murray: ‘We all want same thing’ as ceasefire march hits Labour conference

Tom Belger
Gaza ceasefire protest at Scottish Labour conference. Photo: Tom Belger

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray has said “we all want the same thing” in Israel and Palestine, as protesters demanding an immediate ceasefire head to the Scottish Labour party conference.

The shadow minister was speaking on the main stage just as campaigners marched from the city centre to the conference in Glasgow.

It comes after Scottish Labour voted for an “immediate ceasefire” earlier on Saturday, and ahead of a potential vote on a ceasefire motion filed by the Scottish National Party in parliament next week.

Murray also used the speech to demand prime minister Rishi Sunak “call the election and put yourself and the country out of this Tory misery”, and highlight Labour’s plans for economic growth, the green transition, and promoting ‘Brand Scotland’.

The situation in Israel and Palestine is ‘heartbreaking’

He told the conference: “As Anas spoke passionately about yesterday, the conference debated this morning and many are marching to highlight here and all over the world, today – the situation in Israel and Palestine is heart breaking and intolerable.

“We all want the same thing. For the fighting to stop and to stop now and for all hostages to be released.

“And we need that ceasefire to sustain so there can be a proper process towards a permanent peace with a two-state solution and recognition for Palestine.”

‘We are a government in waiting’

Murray highlighted Scottish Labour’s progress. “When Anas became leader, we were languishing on 14 percent in the polls.

“Fighting to not finish third or fourth. Commentators discussing if the Scottish Labour Party would even survive.

“Today, our sights are firmly on first place. Thank you Anas, not just for your impressive leadership but for your friendship too.

“When Keir Starmer took over the UK party, we had suffered a historic defeat. Today, we are a credible government-in-waiting, back in the service of working people and the country.”

He added later: “Here in Glasgow, the birthplace of the modern Labour movement, we can turn the city red. In Edinburgh, we can deliver Labour MPs again. In every community from Largs to Leith we can elect Labour MPs who will stand up for you and your family.”

Green plan still ‘ambitious’

Murray defended Labour’s rowback on the scale of its spending on its green plans, and reiterated its commitment to clean green power by 2030.

He said: “Our Green Prosperity Plan has been in the news recently, but we should not shy away from how bold and ambitious the plan is.

“Clearly, since the Tories crashed the economy last year borrowing has become more expensive. I don’t need to tell anyone with a mortgage about that.”

Scotland as engine of growth

Murray sought to make tangible the benefits of Labour’s “primary mission” of delivering economic growth, and said Scotland could be an “engine of growth” itself that every family would benefit from.

“We can’t fund public services, because there is no growth. We can’t clean up the streets, because there is no growth. And we can’t deliver opportunity for the next generation because there is no growth.”

He said that the Scotland Office should be “Scotland’s voice in Whitehall…the delivery arm of the UK Labour Government in Scotland…Scotland’s window to the world and sell Scotland to the world”.

“‘Brand Scotland’ is an integral part of our plan to grow Scotland’s economy,” he said, highlighting industries from whisky and smoked salmon to computer game developments.

Read more of LabourList’s Scottish Labour party conference 2024 coverage from our editor in Glasgow:



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