Our politics transformed in just a few days - Ian Murray

Labour MP Ian Murray leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Secretary of State for Scotland following the landslide General Election victory for the Labour Party. Picture: Tejas Sandhu/PA WireLabour MP Ian Murray leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Secretary of State for Scotland following the landslide General Election victory for the Labour Party. Picture: Tejas Sandhu/PA Wire
Labour MP Ian Murray leaves 10 Downing Street, London, after being appointed Secretary of State for Scotland following the landslide General Election victory for the Labour Party. Picture: Tejas Sandhu/PA Wire
Our politics has been transformed since I wrote my last article only one week ago. First and foremost, a thank you. Thank you to the people of Edinburgh South for putting your trust in me and returning me as your MP. It is a huge privilege to represent this wonderful community, and I will continue to do so to the very best of my ability – whether you voted for me or not.

Thank you also to all the other candidates who stood for election in Edinburgh South. We obviously have our political disagreements, but anyone who puts their name on a ballot paper and asks their community to support them deserves respect. And thank you to my brilliant team in Edinburgh South who assist with running such a busy constituency office.

At last week’s election, the Labour Party asked the people of our country for the opportunity to serve. We have now been given that opportunity. Whether you have voted Labour all your life, decided we were the best choice this time, or you voted Labour for the very first time, we will work hard, and with humility, to deliver on the trust you have placed in us. Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar have changed our Labour Party and put it back in the service of the country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For much of my time as the MP for Edinburgh South, I was Scotland’s only Labour MP. That has now changed, and I have 36 colleagues with me in Westminster. It’s safe to say it has been a busy few days for us all.

On Friday I had the immense honour of being asked by the new prime minister to serve as Secretary of State for Scotland. It was incredibly emotional to walk into Dover House, the Scotland Office HQ in Whitehall, to be welcomed by the wonderful civil servants who work there. It was also a very emotional first meeting of the new Cabinet on Saturday, when Keir reminded us of the challenges our party has faced and the opportunities ahead that we can deliver for our country.

On Sunday, I was delighted that Keir chose Scotland as the destination for his first trip as prime minister, and then it was back to London with my new MP colleagues for a whirlwind week – including a meeting in Downing Street.

I’m finalising writing this column having just left Buckingham Palace where I received by seals of office and admission to the Privy Council. That humbling experience doesn’t normally happen to working class boys from Wester Hailes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As the PM said, Scotland is back at the heart of government. I have already started working hard, holding a meeting with the whisky industry and talking to representatives of the energy sector. And I’m delighted that my friend Kirsty McNeill, the new MP for Midlothian, will be joining me in government as Scotland Office Minister – along with Michael Shanks MP in the energy department and Douglas Alexander MP in the trade portfolio. Together we will work hard to deliver change and maximise Scotland’s influence at Westminster.

In just a few days our politics has been transformed – and now we have the levers we need to make a real difference to people’s lives in every part of the country. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve – we will not let you down.