PEOPLE in Scotland will decide the winner of the “most important general election for decades,” the party’s leader north of the border has claimed.
Jim Murphy, who will launch his general election campaign proper today, said votes in Scotland would be key to determining who ends up in Downing Street after May 7.
Labour won 41 seats in Scotland in 2010 but polls suggest it could lose dozens of those to the SNP, whose support has been buoyant in the wake of last year’s independence referendum.
But Mr Murphy argued voting for Nicola Sturgeon’s party would increase Conservatives’ chances of emerging as the largest party in the House of Commons
He insisted: “Only Labour is big enough and strong enough across the UK to kick out Cameron.
“A vote for anyone else gives the Tories a better chance of hanging on and five more years of Tory misery for our poor and our vulnerable.”
Mr Murphy will this morning visit a food bank in Glasgow, before going on to launch his campaign at an address to Labour activists in the city, where the majority of voters backed independence in the referendum.
The Scottish Labour leader said his party would end the need for food banks, abolish the “bedroom tax”, ban zero hours contracts, raise the minimum wage and extend the Living Wage.
Labour has also pledged to cap energy bills and rent rises, and tax loan sharks.
“This is the most important general election for decades and the choice is stark,” Mr Murphy said ahead of the launch.
“Another five years of Tory cuts and austerity, which hurt the poorest in our community the most, or a Labour government which stands up for working working-class people.
“Scotland has seen a scandalous growth in food banks over the last five years. As the number of food banks grow, wages have fallen.
“The choice in May cannot be clearer, and Scotland can pick the winner, it’s a Labour or Tory winner for the whole of the UK.
“We can have a Labour government that will tax bankers’ bonuses, not stand by whilst our poor and vulnerable use food banks.
“We can have a Labour government that will abolish the bedroom tax and raise wages, not cut our public services and stigmatise the most vulnerable people.
“After five hard years of Tory rule, Scotland is ready to kick them out across the UK.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS