LONDON (AFP) – The struggling opposition Labour Party in Scotland on Saturday announced that Jim Murphy will be its new leader following the acrimonious departure of previous leader Johann Lamont.
Murphy, representative for East Renfrewshire, beat off the challenge of health spokesman Neil Finlay and former Scottish Executive minister Sarah Boyack, gaining over half of the vote.
He played a leading role in the campaign to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom at September’s independence referendum.
The Scottish Labour Party has been plunged into crisis by the loss of voters to the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) and Lamont’s resignation in October.
She branded the wider UK party leadership “dinosaurs” and said the party in Scotland needed greater autonomy as more powers are transferred from London to Edinburgh following the referendum.
“The Labour Party must recognise that the Scottish party has to be autonomous and not just a branch office of a party based in London,” she said.
“There is a danger of Scottish politics being between two sets of dinosaurs… the Nationalists who can’t accept they were rejected by the people, and some colleagues at Westminster who think nothing has changed.”