Ian Murray calls on Labour to back Jeremy Corbyn

Ian Murray celebrates holding his seat at the general election in May. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Ian Murray celebrates holding his seat at the general election in May. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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SCOTLAND’S sole surviving Labour MP has called on the party to unite around new leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, who backed Yvette Cooper for the leadership, agreed to continue as shadow Scottish secretary while several other key figures refused posts in Mr Corbyn’s top team.

The veteran left-winger won a massive victory with almost 60 per cent of the votes in the four-way contest to succeed Ed Miliband. Almost half a million members and supporters took part in the election.

Mr Murray said: “We all need to unite behind the new leader. We’ve had a huge democratic process where nearly one in a hundred voting adults in the UK has got involved.

“They spoke very loudly, they elected Jeremy Corbyn and we need to unite around that leadership team and give them a chance.

“Jeremy has made it clear he wants to create a very broad church both in terms of the Parliamentary Labour Party but also in terms of the wider Labour movement, and if he’s true to that word it will see a very inclusive Labour Party.”

On his own role, Mr Murray said: “The shadow cabinet needs a strong Scottish voice because we have big issues in Scotland in terms of the Scotland Bill, the elections coming up and developing a policy platform for Scotland.”

He said Mr Corbyn and the new Scottish leader, Lothian MSP Kezia Dugdale, had said quite clearly they wanted to work closely together.

“We had a fresh start with Kezia a month ago and now this is a fresh start at UK level and we’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Some senior Labour figures, including Peter Mandelson, David Blunkett and Roy Hattersley, have launched outspoken attacks on Mr Corbyn and his policies since his election.

But Mr Murray said: “These are all Labour Party people talking to themselves with the country listening when in actual fact we should be talking to and listening to the country – and that’s where the acid test will come in Jeremy’s leadership.”

Mr Corbyn is expected to make his first trip north of the Border as leader within the next few days.