NEWLY-elected Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has said he wants to put “yaboo politics aside” and cooperate with the SNP on key issues such as pensions as he stated he would write to Nicola Sturgeon calling for the two parties to work together more.
Mr Murphy said there is “lots that we can work together on” as he signalled that under his leadership Labour would take a less antagonistic approach to the SNP at Holyrood over some policy areas.
The East Renfrewshire MP said his leadership of Scottish Labour would not be about “seeking differences” with other parties.
Mr Murphy said that also said he wanted to give jobs to his two rivals Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack in the reshuffle he is planning of Scottish Labour’s front bench this week.
He also backed the devolution of welfare powers to Scotland’s cities, as he said Glasgow had different needs to a city such as Aberdeen.
Mr Murphy, speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, also said he was “not attracted” the idea of sitting as an MP and MSP at the same time, but restated that he would stand for Holyrood.
However, Mr Murphy would not state whether he would stand down from his Westminster seat at the 2015 General Election if he failed to secure a passage to Holyrood before the 2016 election.
Johnson backs ‘charismatic’ Murphy
Former cabinet minister Alan Johnson said the election of Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader was “very good news” as he stated that the winner of the leadership contest was the party’s most “charismatic” figure since Donald Dewar.
Mr Johnson, who served in Tony’s Blair and Gordon Brown’s cabinets, said Mr Murphy had “exactly the right approach” in trying to reach out to Scots who voted Yes in the independence referendum.
The former Home Secretary, who is now a bestselling author as well as a back bench Labour MP, praised Mr Murphy after he defeated shadow health secretary Neil Findlay and former transport minister Sarah Boyack in a three way contest.
Mr Johnson, speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr show, said that the result was “very important” and that the last time Labour had “such charismatic figures” as Mr Murphy was in the late 1990s, when Mr Dewar became Scotland’s inaugural First Minister.