Scotland politics

Scottish Labour conference: News in brief

Here is a selection of news in brief from the Scottish Labour conference, meeting in Dundee.

Shadow minister reflects on forces' difficult year

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Jim Murphy admitted it had been a tough time for the Labour Party, but it had also been a difficult year for the Armed Forces.

He told the conference that they had been tested with "10,000 on the battlefield of Afghanistan and others in the seas and skies around Libya".

He added: "In Afghanistan I met troops from across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Last week I met Royal Navy Scots returning from Libya, from Alloa, Kilwinning, Coatbridge and so many other Scottish towns.

"What always strikes me is how young these men and women are. Their bravery and modesty is awe inspiring and we should be so proud of them and what they do. They have also been tested in a different way by the decisions of ministers who put savings before strategy.

"The UK government's defence plans did not survive their first contact with world events. The success of operations in Libya was testament to our Forces' professionalism, not ministers' decisions."

Labour engaging with the arts

Labour's culture spokeswoman Patricia Ferguson said her party had begun a dialogue with arts organisations, the creative industries and artists in Scotland to ensure they continued to thrive.

She told the conference gathering: "We know, we have always known, that art and culture have the power to transform lives and to motivate and encourage people too.

"We have a proud record as passionate supporters of the art."

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