Scotland politics

Lamont launches Scottish Labour Party leader bid

Johann Lamont
Image caption Johann Lamont has been an MSP since 1999

Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Johann Lamont has said the party must change in order to "earn the right" to serve Scotland again.

She believed Labour north of the border needed to get rid of "all the indulgencies, the fractiousness and the briefing".

Ms Lamont made her views known during her leadership campaign launch.

The Glasgow Pollok MSP is joined in the race by Tom Harris MP and Ken Macintosh MSP.

Ms Lamont, who has served in Holyrood since 1999, told a gathering at Stirling University: "We must listen and learn, show humility and seek again to talk for and to people's ambitions and concerns.

"Our real challenge is that we in Labour lost our way, lost our confidence and lost Scotland."

She added that the party's task was not to "find a narrative" or to "define our offer", but to rediscover "our story of a party created out of a vision for a fair society, sustained by our aspiration to serve all of Scotland".

Ms Lamont said: "I shall expect the co-operation and consistency of all our elected members wherever they sit respecting each other and recognising the role of members, the trade unions our co-operators and all those who call themselves Labour.

"We shall seek debate without division or rancour."

Current leader Iain Gray announced in May he would step down but not before a root-and-branch review of how the party could recover from losing the 2011 Scottish election.

Labour agreed at a special one-day conference last month to change its structure and appoint a new overall Scottish leader, rather than just for the Holyrood group of MSPs.

In the deputy leader contest, two MPs, Ian Davidson and Anas Sarwar, are standing along with MSP Lewis Macdonald.

The official hustings period will start later this month with the result is due to be announced on 17 December.

Mr Macintosh launched his leadership bid last week with a pledge to put jobs, the economy and education first.

During his bid launch, Mr Harris said he could help the party recover from its election defeat.

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