Angela Rayner will ‘live in Scotland’ to help Labour win 2021 Holyrood election
Labour deputy leadership hopeful Angela Rayner vowed she would “live in Scotland” if necessary to help the party win back power at Holyrood next year.
She made the pledge in a hustings in Glasgow, stressing the importance of Labour winning in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.
She said Labour needed to “pour every resource” into helping Scottish leader Richard Leonard in that campaign.
“I will live in Scotland for that period if I have to,” she said.
Ms Rayner, Labour’s shadow education secretary, told party activists: “If we don’t win in Scotland we will not get a socialist Labour government in the United Kingdom and we will all lose out.
“So the 2021 elections here in Scotland couldn’t be more important to our United Kingdom.”
Ian Murray, who was left as the sole Scottish Labour MP after December’s general election, said the party needed to be “strong” on the key issue of the constitution if it wanted to succeed in next May’s Holyrood ballot
The Edinburgh South MP said: “We will never win in 2021 unless we are strong on the constitution, and being strong on the constitution starts with not trashing our record in government over 13 years and secondly not trashing the way we saved the country in 2014.”
He insisted there was “no mandate” for the SNP to have a second vote on Scottish independence – but hit out at the outgoing Labour leadership over its comments on the issue in the general election campaign.
While Scottish Labour is opposed to having another independence ballot, Jeremy Corbyn only said he would not allow this in the “early years” of a UK Labour govenrment.
Mr Murray blasted: “Let’s never have a senior member of the UK Labour Party come to Scotland during a general election and throw the Scottish Labour Party under a bus.”
Richard Burgon said it would be “counter productive” for Westminster to block a second vote on Scottish independence, as he criticised Labour for working with the Conservatives in the Better Together campaign.
That left a “damaging electoral legacy,” the Leeds East MP insisted.
He told party members in Glasgow: “My view, and it may not be universally popular here, is if the Scottish people wish to have another independence referendum I think it would be counter productive for Westminster to seek to block it.”
Dawn Butler argued that Labour in Scotland needed more resources to help it win again.
“We need to ensure that Labour centrally puts resources to you in Scotland, because at the moment dictating what you do in Scotland isn’t good enough,” the Brent South MP said.
Meanwhile, Rosena Allin-Khan stressed the importance of rebuilding trust with voters.
The Tooting MP said: “At the end of the day Labour policy can not be dictated from London, it is about working with Scottish labour and addressing that there is a huge constitutional question here, what do we do about Scottish independence, because that is where the SNP have gained so many seats by looking like they are the most nationalist party.
“The way we tackle that is by rebuilding trust at the grass roots.”
She pledged: “The very first place I will visit if I am elected is Scotland, because the path back to power starts here in Scotland.”