Scottish Labour leadership: Curran backs Murphy

Margaret Curran has thrown her support behind Jim Murphy. Picture: John Devlin

Margaret Curran has thrown her support behind Jim Murphy. Picture: John Devlin

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ONE OF Labour’s most senior figures in Scotland has backed Jim Murphy to become the party’s new leader north of the border.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran says the Renfrewshire MP can reach out to Scots who ‘thought Labour had left them behind.’

Polling closes on Wednesday in the race to replace Johann Lamont, with Holyrood health spokesman Neil Findlay and former Scottish Government transport minister Sarah Boyack also in the running.

Mrs Curran, the Glasgow East MP, says in an email to Labour members today that she wasn’t ‘planning to publicly back a candidate’ in the Scottish Labour party leadership election.

But she said; “As this campaign has progressed it’s become increasingly clear how important this decision is for the future of the Scottish Labour Party.”

Mrs Curran said she won the Glasgow East seat back from the SNP, after a by-election defeat, with ’hard work, reaching out to the community.’

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She added: “We won Glasgow East with drive, determination and by reaching out to the people who thought that Labour had left them behind.

“They’re the same qualities we need to put Scottish Labour back in the lead, and that’s what I’ve seen from Jim during this campaign.

“We need someone with ideas for how we can take Scotland forward and that’s exactly what he’s been talking about for the past five weeks.”

She added that Mr Murphy, the former Scottish Secretary, showed he is ready to take the fight to the SNP with his 100 days tour during the referendum which drew organised picketing from hardline Nationalists.

Mr Murphy said: “I am delighted to have Margaret Curran’s support for Scottish Labour leader.

“Having served in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments, and as a Scottish Government minister, she knows what Scottish Labour needs to succeed.

“I look forward to working closely with Margaret if I am elected leader.”

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