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Saturday 9th
posted by Malcolm Burns in Britain

Calls grow for Scottish Labour leader’s head

JIM MURPHY refused to resign as Scottish Labour leader yesterday despite presiding over a catastrophic election result which left his party with only one seat north of the border — and saw him booted out of Parliament.

Ian Davidson, another of the Labour casualties, called on Murphy to “do the honourable thing” and resign.

“Morally, as the man who has led us to the biggest ever disaster that Labour has suffered in Scotland, of course he can’t continue,” the former Glasgow South West MP said.

“The process of rebuilding the Labour Party has got to start with an examination of both personnel and ideas.”

But Mr Murphy insisted that he would remain as leader and pledged to stand in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.

He said: “The leader carries the can and there’s no shirking away from this.”But he insisted: “Our determination is to rebuild from here, with a continued sense of energy, with a continued sense of teamwork.”

Mr Murphy lost in East Renfrewshire as safe Labour seats and former cabinet ministers tumbled all around.

Former shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander lost Paisley and Renfrewshire South to the SNP’s Mhairi Black, who at 20 becomes the youngest MP in the House of Commons since 1667.

Former shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran lost Glasgow East.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed her party’s 56-seat haul as a “historic watershed.”

She said: “Labour has been losing touch with the Scottish people over many years now” and they had now “put their trust in the SNP.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “This election wasn’t about independence. The government at Westminster cannot ignore what has happened in Scotland. People have voted overwhelmingly for Scotland’s voice to be heard and for an end to austerity.”

In the extraordinary rout, the labour and trade union movement lost stalwart socialists in Parliament, notably Katy Clark in North Ayrshire and Arran and Ian Davidson in Glasgow South West.

Ms Clark said Labour had “failed to live up to its socialist roots” and called for a renewed fight.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “This now requires the most full, frank and honest debate about the future of the Scottish Labour Party — our very survival is at stake.”