Here's what Labour's done already to deliver the transformative change Scotland voted for

Keir Starmer’s visit to Scotland after becoming Prime Minister represents the start of a new relationship between the UK and Scottish governments

It’s not even been a week since Labour formed a government, but already the change is palpable. At last, after 14 years of Tory scandal, sleaze and incompetence, we have a government dedicated to public service. Labour is focused on the national, not party, interest, working to transform lives and deliver change right across the country.

Decency, integrity and honesty are back. The politics of division are in retreat and, for the first time in a long time, we have a government inspired by the politics of hope. Scottish politics was turned on its head as well, as people voted to elect 37 Scottish Labour MPs who will put Scotland’s voice at the heart of government.

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Every one of those MPs is already working to repay the trust that was put in them and deliver the change that their communities so sorely need. Similarly, Keir Starmer and his new government have hit the ground running, wasting no time getting to work to deliver change.

The Scottish Government needs to match Chancellor Rachel Reeves' level of ambition on housebuilding south of the Border (Picture: David Potter/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)The Scottish Government needs to match Chancellor Rachel Reeves' level of ambition on housebuilding south of the Border (Picture: David Potter/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)
The Scottish Government needs to match Chancellor Rachel Reeves' level of ambition on housebuilding south of the Border (Picture: David Potter/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

The new Prime Minister’s first official engagement was a trip to Scotland, a clear statement of intent and the start of a new relationship between the UK and Scottish governments.

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Breath of fresh air

For too long, Scotland has been let down by two governments more interested in picking fights than working together in the national interest, but Labour will reset this relationship. The UK Government will work constructively with the Scottish Government to deliver for the people of Scotland where there is a common interest – whether it’s on delivering economic growth, reaching net zero, rebuilding our public services or securing Grangemouth’s future.

That is what it means to have a government dedicated to public service, and what a breath of fresh air it is after 14 years of the Tories. In the mere days that this government has been in office, we have already seen its vision for our country and its determination to deliver on it.

Our fantastic new Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray will give a new lease of life to the Scotland Office, ensuring it creates jobs, drives growth and delivers the change Scotland needs. Rachel Reeves has set out clear plans to deliver badly needed economic growth and boost housebuilding, a level of ambition I hope the SNP will match here in Scotland.

Tackling scourge of low pay

Ed Miliband is beginning work on Labour’s clean-energy mission, including setting up the publicly owned company GB Energy here in Scotland. These plans will cut bills, deliver energy security and create 69,000 green jobs in Scotland alone.

Legislation on Labour’s New Deal for Working People will be introduced and consultation on this transformative package of rights will begin. This will be the greatest advancement in workers’ rights in a generation, tackling the scourge of low pay and insecure work.

This is a government with ambition for our country, determined to break the cycle of decline we’ve been trapped in under the Tories and the SNP. People in Scotland and right across the UK voted for change last Thursday and Labour is already hard at work delivering it. The damage inflicted on this country by the Tories cannot be undone overnight, but Labour isn’t wasting a second.

Change starts here, with a Labour government on the side of the people of Scotland.

Jackie Baillie MSP is Scottish Labour’s deputy leader

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