Jim Murphy has stood down as Scottish Labour leader as the party agreed to his plan for “dramatic” change. Mr Murphy announced his intention to resign last month despite narrowly winning a confidence vote in the wake of Labour’s general election defeat.
He had since been drawing up plans for reforms which he hopes will lead to the party’s recovery in Scotland. Labour lost 40 of its 41 Scottish constituencies to the SNP, including Mr Murphy’s East Renfrewshire seat. The party has also announced a timetable for the election of a new leader and deputy leader, with the result of the contests to announced on 15 August.
The leadership contest is expected to be between current deputy leader Kezia Dugdale and the party’s social justice spokesman, Ken MacIntosh. Speaking at a media conference in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, Mr Murphy said Scottish Labour should better reflect modern Scotland. He unveiled five proposals which he said had been agreed in principle by party’s executive council. These included electing a new leader through a one member one vote system rather than the electoral college system which requires a majority vote in at least two out of three blocks, comprising elected members, ordinary members and unions. Mr Murphy was elected as leader despite opposition from the union college, which backed his opponent Neil Findlay last year. The party will also reopen its selection process for the Regional Lists to attract the widest possible range of candidates for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.