Scotland politics

Jim Murphy: 'I'll be an MSP by 2016'

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Media captionScottish Labour's new leader Jim Murphy says he will be an MSP and a candidate for first minister by 2016.

Scottish Labour's new leader Jim Murphy has said he will be an MSP and Labour's candidate for first minister by 2016.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme, Mr Murphy refused to say how he would achieve this but said he would let his constituents know first.

He also said he was "determined" to hang on to every Scottish Labour seat at Westminster.

"It's feasible but tough," he said.

"There is a lot of work to do but I am determined to hold onto every seat we currently have and I am confident we can.

"We can either protest against the Tories or replace the Tories."

Mr Murphy, who ran next to the River Clyde during a photocall, also told the programme he planned to give his leadership contest rivals Neil Findlay and Sarah Boyack roles in his new cabinet.

"I'm keen to rediscover the Team Labour approach," he said. "I'm going to build a talent-based team where we bring everyone together."

"The contest was a good advert for the Scottish Labour party. It was free of the personal acrimony of the past."

Speaking about his plans to gain a seat at Holyrood he said: "I have given a commitment that I will be in the Scottish Parliament in 2016 and Labour candidate for first minister by 2016.

"I'd like to be there sooner than that and in terms of how we do that, of course I will let my constituents and constituency party know first.

"But there is a cast iron guarantee to be a candidate in those elections, if not before."

'Fresh ideas'

Mr Murphy, who currently has a seat at Westminster, indicated he would not be an MP and an MSP at the same time, saying: "It is not something I am attracted to."

He said he was determined to lead the party from Scotland.

"I am going to lead the Scottish Labour Party from Scotland, in Scotland," he said.

"I am also going to include people who aren't in the Labour Party, some who have never voted Labour, and get these fresh ideas in and strengthen our party."

Mr Murphy said the Smith Commission package of devolved powers given to Scotland was strong but said welfare powers should be devolved to towns and cities rather than left with "people sitting behind a desk in Edinburgh".

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Image caption Jim Murphy said he would give Sarah Boyack and Neil Findlay roles in his cabinet

The new Scottish leader earlier told BBC Radio Five Live he would not be consulting Ed Miliband on policies or campaigns in Scotland.

"I don't need to consult the leader," he said.

"I'm proud of being part of a wider Labour movement across the United Kingdom.

"But the days in which anyone needed permission from the Labour Party anywhere else in the United Kingdom to make a decision about what happens in Scotland are gone and they're gone for good.

"They're not coming back. I need no-one's permission. I consult no-one on the issues that are devolved in Scotland other than the people of Scotland and the Scottish Labour Party.

"That's the way it's going to be in future."

Branch office

Mr Murphy's predecessor, Johann Lamont, resigned after the independence referendum saying Labour's Westminster leadership had treated the party in Scotland as a "branch office".

"I didn't agree with the comment about the branch office and I'm going to make clear how that will change," Mr Murphy said.

"Things on election tactics, election strategy, party funding, party strategy, the policies are devolved to the Scottish Parliament - those decisions will be made in Scotland in future," he said.

He added: "I'm big enough and I'm ugly enough and I've been round long enough not to be pushed around."

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