Statement from Sarah Boyack MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Planning.
It’s time for a proper debate
This leadership election is our chance to debate how we move our party forward.
We need to reach out not just to those who have traditionally supported us but to build a coalition to tackle social and environmental injustice and to create a more equal, prosperous economy that works for people.
The referendum mobilised people to get involved in the debate about our future and we need to build on that energy.
Across the country there were thousands of meetings bringing people together to discuss how we could improve people’s lives. To deliver on those ambitions we need to move the political debate on to how we use power.
The Scottish Parliament is already a powerhouse parliament and more powers are on the way – we need to make sure that power is used in the interests of the people of Scotland.
Our mission must be to deliver social, environmental and economic justice.
Our membership must play a full part in that mission. We need to get out and engage with our communities.
In the next 18 months we face two electoral tests – to return Labour governments to power in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments. We need to bring people with us and mobilise support across the country.
These will be watershed elections.
This leadership election will set the tone for those contests. It is our chance to restate our ambitions for Scotland. It’s also the chance to rebuild our bonds with the Labour movement in Scotland. It’s our chance to reconnect the Labour Party with communities across the country.
To seize that opportunity we need to work as Team Labour. As a member of Donald Dewar’s first cabinet, as joint author of the Review of Scottish Labour and as a member of Labour’s Devolution Commission, I have the experience to lead.
The party now needs to move forward together.