Jim Murphy has announced he is to resign as leader of the Scottish Labour Party next month despite narrowly surviving a confidence vote earlier today. Speaking this afternoon, Murphy also took a swipe at the party’s union backers, accusing them of damaging the Labour movement.
Mr Murphy said he could no longer remain as leader of the party when a “small minority” continued to oppose him and divide the party.
He also launched a scathing attack on Len McCluskey, General Secretary of the Unite union, who he accused of trying to run the Labour party on his own “grudges and grievances”.
Murphy said the Scottish Labour party could not be run by people sitting at a desk in London “having a go at what Scotland does”.
He also called for his successor to be elected by the one member, one vote system, rather than the current electoral college system which gives a disproportionate influence to the unions.
His resignation comes after Labour lost all but one of their Scottish seats at the general election. Murphy himself was a casualty, losing his East Renfrewshire seat to the Scottish Nationalists.
Scottish First Minister and Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted:
I wish Jim Murphy all the very best for the future. Leadership is not easy and he deserves credit for standing up for what he believes in.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 16, 2015
Murphy will formally resign after submitted a plan for reform to the Scottish Labour executive.