Jess Phillips backs Scottish Labour MP in bid to become deputy leader

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Jess Phillips has endorsed Ian Murray as he bids to become Labour’s new deputy leader.

Ms Phillips, who on Tuesday ended her own campaign to become Labour leader, said Mr Murray had put forward a “positive vision” for the party.

The Edinburgh South MP is up against Dawn Butler, Angela Rayner, Richard Burgon and Rosena Allin-Khan in the deputy leadership race.

Ms Phillips said: “Labour must be a party for every region and nation of the UK, standing up for our values of solidarity and working together, and Ian is the candidate who best understands that.

“Ian has put forward a positive vision not only for our party but also for the country.

“He recognises that we can’t just talk to ourselves – we must listen to voters in seats we held, seats we lost and seats we have never held.

“People didn’t trust Labour in the last election because they weren’t sure where we stood on the big issues of the day and Ian is right that this can never happen again.

“All his life he has fought and won against the odds and we need him at the top of our party.”

Welcoming the endorsement, Mr Murray said: “Jess has been a great friend and close confidante and I’m honoured to have her support.

“Even though she is no longer standing for leader, she will have a pivotal role in shaping our party’s future.

“She knows how to reconnect with voters who have left us and we need to draw on her talents to make Labour an election-winning force once again.”

He added: “My message is simple – if you are happy and satisfied with the current position of the Labour Party then don’t vote for me.

“I want us to change so we can win again.”