SCOTTISH Labour’s new leader Jim Murphy has insisted that he will not need permission from the party’s UK leader Ed Miliband for decisions relating to Scotland.
The East Renfrewshire MP will hold a summit in Stirling today for MPs, MSPs, councillors and activists after beating rival candidates MSPs Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack for the leadership.
The contest was sparked when Johann Lamont stood down suddenly in October, accusing colleagues in Westminster of treating Scotland like a ‘’branch office’’.
Former Scottish secretary Mr Murphy told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics he would not need to seek permission from Mr Miliband on policies north of the border.
He said: “I don’t need to consult the leader.
“I’m proud of being part of a wider Labour movement across the United Kingdom.
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“But the days in which anyone needed permission from the Labour Party anywhere else in the United Kingdom to make a decision about what happens in Scotland are gone and they’re gone for good.
“They’re not coming back. I need no-one’s permission. I consult no-one on the issues that are devolved in Scotland other than the people of Scotland and the Scottish Labour Party.
“That’s the way it’s going to be in future.”
He added: “What happens in Scotland will be decided in Scotland.
“Things on election tactics, election strategy, party funding, party strategy, the policies are devolved to the Scottish Parliament - those decisions will be made in Scotland in future.”
Mr Murphy told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme he would be joined in Stirling by Mr Findlay and Ms Boyack and promised that both would get jobs in his reshuffle of the shadow cabinet.
He said: “We’ll talk about how we get back in the game, how we recruit more members, how we adopt a more positive patriotic tone and how we hold on to all those seats that we currently have at the UK general election.”
He insisted that his promise not to lose a single Labour seat in Scotland in May’s general election was “feasible but tough”, after a poll yesterday putting his party 20 points behind the SNP in Westminster voting intentions.
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