LABOUR’S only MP north of the Border will today claim his election victory in Edinburgh South points the way to how the party can win again across Scotland.
Ian Murray, in his first major speech as shadow Scottish secretary, will argue Labour needs to rebuild itself as a community-based movement in every street, town and city in the country.
He will say that following the party’s near wipeout in Scotland at the election it can no longer turn to the “big beasts” and it falls to a new generation of Labour politicians and activists to take the party forward.
In the speech at Morningside Parish Church, Mr Murray – who held on to his seat with an increased majority despite the SNP’s landslide – is expected to say: “The way people engage with politics has changed, but the way the Scottish Labour Party has worked hasn’t kept pace.
“As a start that has to mean our politics has to be community-based, bringing together a broad range of people across the constituency. There can be no no-go areas.
“That is what we did here and given this constituency is a microcosm of Scotland, with both wealth and poverty, we can use this as the blueprint for the future.”
He will say his campaign spoke to people in the Inch about their lives on zero-hours contracts and what Labour would do to help, about increasing the minimum wage, dealing with antisocial behaviour and giving their children more opportunities.
He will add: “But we also had something to say to people in Fairmilehead about defending the valuable green belt from inappropriate developments and in Marchmont about the relationship between a transient student population with the settled residents.
“Underpinning all this was a community-based approach that we had built up since 2010, responding to what the local community wanted and the issues they raised, giving them the ownership of the problem and support to access the solutions. By being rooted in the communities we seek to represent, we will begin to once again win the trust of voters.”