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Starmer pledges more powers for Scottish Parliament in move to federal system of government

MORE powers should be devolved from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament as part of a move to a federal system of government, new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said today.

Writing in the Daily Record, he said that Labour would set up a UK constitutional convention based on the principle of federalism.

He said: “I want to see Scotland use the powers it has got. I also want it to have more powers itself.”

Labour has “lost touch with too many people in Scotland,” he said, suggesting that this contributed to Scottish Labour’s election losses.

In 2015, Scottish Labour lost all but one of its 41 seats to the SNP.  In 2017, Labour gained six seats. But in last year’s general election, the party again returned only one MP.

Mr Starmer said: “We will have a special responsibility to Scotland. Labour has a long, radical tradition in Scotland. Scottish socialists and trade unionists have led our movement. And Labour delivered.

“Equal pay, rights at work, the NHS, comprehensive state education, the Scottish Parliament:  these are all Labour achievements.

“But Labour has lost touch with too many people in Scotland. The road back to connecting with the Scottish public will not be quick or easy, but I promise I will make it my priority.

“I will work closely with [Scottish Labour leader] Richard Leonard to ensure Scottish Labour has the backing it needs.”

After Mr Starmer was announced as Labour leader at the weekend, Mr Leonard said that he is looking forward to working with him because he “gets Scotland.”


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