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Scottish Labour promises radical transformation this Christmas

SCOTTISH LABOUR is promising a radical transformation in the way our society works even before Christmas if Jeremy Corbyn is voted into Downing Street.

Scottish leader Richard Leonard has said that the party will look to overhaul the current “brutal system” which is designed to push people in left-behind communities across the country into debt.

Hitting out at the “blight” of in-work poverty and the financial and social challenges in working-class communities across Scotland, Mr Leonard said that his is the only party committed to tackling these issues as a matter of priority.

It echoes the words of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who in a video shared with the electorate on Monday said that “Scotland cannot afford another day of the Tories.”

Mr Leonard told the Morning Star: “Principally, what we can offer is a change from the December 13 onwards.

“We are the only party which is committed not just to mitigating universal credit — which we think is a brutal system which drives people by design into debt — but we also want to see an end to in-work poverty immediately.

“It’s not like there is a blight of unemployment which is simply fuelling poverty — there is a blight of low pay fuelling poverty and we need to tackle that as a matter of priority.”

Mr Leonard was speaking at an event in Easterhouse in support of parliamentary candidate Kate Watson.

Ms Watson, who is challenging the SNP’s David Linden in Glasgow East, came within 75 votes of winning in 2017 and is now running for a second time.

The constituency is one of a number of target seats across the country where Labour is within touching distance of the incumbent.

There are multiple seats in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Fife and Inverclyde where Labour would require less than a 1 per cent swing in order to beat the SNP candidate.

Despite polling now showing an increase in support for Labour across Britain, Scottish Labour says it is taking nothing for granted as it continues to try and win over undecided voters ahead of December 12.

Mr Leonard said: “I take polls with a pinch of salt.

“As we get closer and closer to December 12, more and more people will understand that the choice is a stark one between the election of a Tory government for five more years and the election of a Labour government.”

Many of the seats Labour is looking to gain in Scotland would be from the SNP, which also says it opposes the dangers of Tory austerity.

But Mr Leonard reiterated that there are “no shortcuts” to a Labour government.

“The SNP says that its ambition is to deprive the Tories of a majority,” he said. “We want to form an alternative government that would change the way our society and economy works.

“We would like to see radical and transformative change and it’s possible with the election of a Labour government that could start this side of Christmas.

“I think that’s a fantastic opportunity to break away from the decade of austerity which has seen communities like [Easterhouse] become really difficult for people.”

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