Johann Lamont warns of “no quick fix” for Labour

Johann Lamont resigned as Scottish Labour leader in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. Picture: Jane Barlow
Johann Lamont resigned as Scottish Labour leader in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum. Picture: Jane Barlow
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FORMER Labour leader Johann Lamont has warned there will be “no quick fix” to the party’s problems in Scotland.

Ms Lamont says that simply changing the leader won’t be a solution after the party was given a “lesson” in how to run a campaign by the SNP in the recent election.

Even those of us who were preparing for the worst possible defeat couldn’t possibly have imagined what happened

Johann Lamont

Jim Murphy, who replaced Ms Lamont as party leader just six months ago, has annonced he will quit after Labour lost all but one of its 41 seats in the recent election.

The SNP won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland.

“It seems to me they got everything right, and Nicola Sturgeon has become a politician over many years,” Ms Lamont told the BBC Radio 4 Today show this morning.

“She was the most experienced person on the podium during the leaders’ debate, and that shone out.”

Ms Lamont had been leader from 2011 to 2014, but sensationally quit soon after the independence referendum warning that Labour HQ in London was treating Scotland like a “branch office.”

Current Deputy leader Kezia Dugdale is the frontrunner to replace Mr Murphy.

Ms Lamont says the new leader must be allowed time to reverse the party’s decline. Labour were left with just one MP - Ian Murray in Edinburgh South - in last month’s vote

“Even those of us who were preparing for the worst possible defeat couldn’t possibly have imagined what happened,” Ms Lamont added.

“We couldn’t have predicted it, but we need to analyse it if we’re going to survive.

“The instinct of the Labour Party is if there’s a problem, change the leader, then sit back, fold your arms and wait to be disappointed because they’re sure it’s not going to deliver.

“We can’t do that this time. We need to elect a leader not on a short term contract, but a long term appointment for the long haul. There is no quick fix to this, there are not any ploys, not any gimmicks, that will get us through the next period

“That therefore means people were putting faith not just in individual candidates, but putting faith in a message that was coming to them from the SNP.”