Ken Macintosh wants ‘autonomous’ Scottish Labour

Ken Macintosh wants to relocate the Scottish Labour HQ to Edinburgh. Picture: John Devlin

Ken Macintosh wants to relocate the Scottish Labour HQ to Edinburgh. Picture: John Devlin

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Labour leadership candidate Ken Macintosh has said he wants to create an “autonomous party” in Scotland, as he launched his campaign for the party leadership today.

But he says it should make a “positive choice” to remain part of the UK Labour party.

The Eastwood MSP also set out plans to move Labour away from its traditional west of Scotland base in Glasgow with plans to locate its Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh.

Mr Macintosh is the underdog in the race to be the new leader of the party in Scotland, with Lothians MSP Kezia Dugdale the overwhelming favourite to replace Jim Murphy.

But Mr Macintosh described himself as the party’s “change candidate” as he launched his campaign in East Kilbride today.

“We will be entirely in charge of our own affairs and decision making” he said.

He announced the party would move from its traditional Glasgow base to Edinburgh and says the party can ditch the “hierarchy of interests” which have been at the root of previous problems.

“I will begin discussions immediately with Labour colleagues at a UK level to redefine and formalise our relationship,” he said.

“I want us to be an autonomous party here in Scotland, but one which makes a positive choice to remain part of the UK Labour Party. We will be entirely in charge of our own affairs and our own decision-making, but it is important to us that we have a partnership of equals with Party colleagues in the rest of the UK.”

And the party’s wipeout at Westminster in the recent election, which saw it lose all but one of its MPs, will allow Labour to start again.

“We can rebuild without the hierarchy of interests, power and control that have troubled our Party in the past,” Mr Macintosh added.

He also set out plans for a range of internal reforms to the party including a one member one vote system to elect the party leader and a system of open primaries.

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