Better Together to blame for Labour woes - Corbyn

Then Labour leader Ed Miliband campaigning for the No campaign. Picture: Getty Images
Then Labour leader Ed Miliband campaigning for the No campaign. Picture: Getty Images
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New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has blamed the Better Together campaign for his party’s woes in Scotland.

His comments come ahead of his first visit north of the Border as party leader today for a Labour gala dinner in Glasgow where he will pledge that Scottish leader Kez Dugdale will be the boss on Scottish matters.

Too many people think Labour has lost its way

Jeremy Corbyn

Mr Corbyn’s visit coincides with a hardening of Labour’s position on constitutional matters as shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray has told The Scotsman that he can think of “no conceivable circumstances” it would agree to support a 
second independence referendum.

He added that the constitution “is last year’s debate, we need to concentrate on public services and what parties will do with the new powers now”.

In an interview at the end of the party conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn was asked what went wrong for Labour in Scotland. He said: “I think what went wrong was the Better Together campaign.”

Labour had worked with the Tories in the successful pro-UK campaign, alienating some of its supporters north of the Border.

Mr Corbyn also said “what went wrong was UK-wide failure to oppose the principles behind austerity in the last two general elections”.

In his speech tonight he will promise to end the party culture which former Scottish leader Johann Lamont complained made Scottish Labour “a branch office” for the UK party.

Mr Corbyn will say: “Under my leadership there will be no question about who is in charge of the Scottish Labour Party. Kezia Dugdale is leader of our party in Scotland and I will be working alongside her to win back support for Labour.

“Kez has said that she wants to make absolutely clear what the Labour Party stands for and who we stand with. That is also my mission across the UK. Too many people have told me that they think Labour lost its way.

“We need to win back their trust by showing them exactly what difference a Labour Government would make to their lives.”