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Labour vows to ‘work constructively’ with Scottish Government if in office

08 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray. Photo Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Labour would “work constructively” with the Scottish Government if it wins power at Westminster, the shadow Scottish secretary has said.

Laying out how a Labour-run Scotland Office would work ahead of the party’s conference beginning in Liverpool on Sunday, Ian Murray said it would “transform the operation” by being more visible in communities.

Mr Murray added that the department would promote “brand Scotland” internationally and use “co-operation instead of conflict” to deliver for the people of Scotland.

The current Scotland Office has often been at odds with the Scottish Government, fighting three court battles in recent years over the incorporation of UN treaties into Scots law, independence and gender reforms.


Mr Murray said: “Under the Tories, the Scotland Office is a shell of what it can and should be – invisible in communities except when it’s after a fight.

“The next Labour government will transform the operation, making it an advocate across the globe for brand Scotland, a powerful voice at the heart of a Labour government, and an ear in communities.

“While the Tories and the SNP rely on the politics of conflict and division, we will work constructively with the Scottish Government to deliver for the people of Scotland.

“We will make Scotland an economic powerhouse and use the Scotland Office to deliver transformative change for communities.

“This is the change Scotland needs – a progressive UK government that grows our economy, promotes our nation around the world and puts fairness at the heart of our agenda.

“Our seismic win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West shows that Scotland can lead the way delivering a transformative Labour government for the entire UK.”

His comments come just days after Labour took back Rutherglen and Hamilton West in a by-election on a 20.4 percentage point swing from the SNP.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Secretary and his team play a vital role in promoting the best interests of Scotland within a strong United Kingdom and effectively representing Scotland’s interests at the heart of the UK Government.

“We will continue to work on important matters such as where to access cost of living support, promoting Scottish business, within the UK and overseas, and highlighting funding opportunities across the country.

“Our collaborative work with the Scottish Government, local authorities and communities across the country has been hugely successful in enabling the delivery of more than £2.5 billion of UK Government investment directly into Scotland.”

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max wallis
max wallis
7 months ago

The claim to a “Seismic win” in Rutherglen &W Hamilton is a media invention, based on 20% “swing”. The vary low turnout (37%) showed mass stay-away by SNP voters. As one said on BBC “Any Answers”, they saw it defeat as inevitable, also the weather was lousy. No “swing” to Labour, but even tactical voting by Tory unionists wanting to give the SNP a kicking.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
7 months ago

Can someone please let me know why the Labour Party love Britain and love being British so much?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
7 months ago

So the Labour Party’s Scottish Office will be interfering in local Scottish issue to press the central London line on all sorts of issues. That sounds pretty colonialist to me. What happened to the idea of devolving more powers to Scotland and letting the Scottish people have more control over local affairs?

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