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Jim Murphy MP

Scottish Labour leader

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Stories involving Jim Murphy

SNP stretches lead over Labour

The Scottish National Party has taunted Jim Murphy’s “reverse honeymoon” after a survey found the nationalists stretching their lead over Labour in Scotland.

A Survation poll for the Daily Record, carried out after Mr Murphy became Labour leader, gave the SNP a new high, with 48% of Scots planning to back Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the May general election.

Labour was on 24%, meaning that if the results were replicated next May, the SNP would have 54 MPs in Westminster, compared to four for Labour.

Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon described the poll as a “great early Christmas present” for her party.

SNP MP Angus Robertson added: “The poll shows that Jim Murphy has had a 'reverse honeymoon' as leader of Labour in Scotland - with the SNP stretching our lead even further since he took up the post...

“More people are actually less likely to vote Labour under his leadership than more likely.”

Meanwhile, women’s organisations have criticised Mr Murphy’s call for a review of the ban on alcohol at football matches. Mr Murphy said to the BBC at the weekend that he was in favour of overturning the restrictions “on a trial basis”.


Kinnock backs Murphy

Scottish Labour leader candidate Jim Murphy has received a boost with the news that former Labour leader Neil Kinnock is backing him for the role. In an email to party members, Lord Kinnock will say Murphy has the “humility, vision and dynamism” to give fresh strength to Labour in Scotland. He will also be donating a sum to his campaign. Mr Murphy said he was “delighted” by the endorsement. Meanwhile, the SNP has welcomed news of an ICM poll showing 63% of Scots believe the Scottish Parliament should control all taxes and benefits in Scotland.


Murphy: Focus aid spending on healthcare

Labour would put healthcare at the centre of plans for international development, Jim Murphy has announced.

In his speech to Labour conference, the Shadow International Development Secretary criticised the Conservatives’ attitude towards aid, accusing them of struggling with a “Tea Party tendency colliding with a UKIP instinct”.

Mr Murphy instead said that Labour would use the forthcoming debate on the UN’s development goals for the next 15 years to push for a greater focus on health.

He told delegates in Manchester: “The Tory Party are against prioritising universal health coverage abroad. The nation that gave the world the civilising force of the NHS should champion health care around the world.

"We are inspired by the NHS. So I can announce today that my very first act as Secretary of State on the morning after the election will be to instruct the UK's negotiating team at the United Nations to put universal health coverage at the heart of the world’s ambition for the next 15 years.”


Murphy to change Labour constitution for Scotland

Newly-elected Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is planning to rewrite the party’s constitution to emphasise independence in running affairs in Scotland.

In his first major speech, he will say he wants to create his own ‘clause four’ moment and represent a “rebirth” of the Scottish Labour party.

Mr Murphy is expected to describe the move as "a new statement of purpose for a new generation in the Scottish Labour Party".

The proposals will be voted on by the party in the spring.


Murphy backs full income tax powers for Scots

Labour has dropped its opposition to the full devolution of income tax to Scotland, meaning all three main Westminster parties now support the policy.

Scottish Labour leader candidate Jim Murphy announced his backing for the income tax plans today, ahead of Lord Smith unveiling his proposals for the hand-over of powers from London to Holyrood later in the week.

"Even before the Smith Commission reports, we should agree to the full devolution of income tax to Scotland, if that is what emerges," he said.

"It's a clear signal to Scotland that we have changed, that we get it, that we will stand up for Scotland."

Mr Murphy also announced that Scottish Labour would use the powers to restore a 50p tax rate "for the wealthiest earners in Scotland", and challenged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to commit to the same pledge.

"I hope Nicola Sturgeon can join me today in a commitment to use tax-raising powers to address inequality and disadvantage in Scotland," he said.

Plans for full devolution of income tax powers have been strongly opposed by former prime minister Gordon Brown, who last month warned they would represent a "Trojan horse for fiscal autonomy”.

Mr Brown has also argued that the powers may boost Conservative calls for Scottish MPs to be denied a vote on strictly English matters, under plans dubbed 'English Votes for English Laws'.


Murphy: Referendum on the cards

Britain should eventually hold an in-out referendum on its European Union membership, the Shadow Defence Secretary has said.

Jim Murphy told the BBC's Sunday Politics the time for a vote would come after greater integration of the eurozone nations.

"I think at some point there will have to be a referendum on the EU. I don't think it's for today or for the next year, but I think it should happen.

"My preference would be an in-or-out referendum when the time comes. Whenever the referendum comes, almost everyone in the Labour Party, along with the Liberal Democrats and British business, will be arguing we should stay part of the EU, because it is good for our economy and good for Britain."