Kelly to lead Labour’s elec­tion cam­paign

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly has been handed to task of lead­ing the Labour cam­paign for the 2016 Scot­tish Elec­tions.

Mr Kelly, who re­cently co-chaired Jim Murphy’s suc­cess­ful lead­er­ship cam­paign, will also play a lead­ing role for Scot­tish Labour in next year’s Gen­eral Elec­tion.

The roles come just days after Mr Kelly was made Labour’s Par­lia­men­tary Business Man­ager in Jim Murphy’s first shadow cab­i­net.

Some will sug­gest the Ruther­glen MSP has taken on one of the tough­est jobs in Bri­tish pol­i­tics with the SNP en­joy­ing a mas­sive lead in the polls, but it is a task Mr Kelly says he is look­ing for­ward to.

He told the Re­former: “There’s no get­ting away from the fact I am tak­ing on this role at a chal­leng­ing time but I rel­ish the prospect.

“It’s clear to me, in the early days of Jim Murphy’s lead­er­ship, he’s shown real au­thor­ity and I think the gen­eral mo­men­tum will build, not just be­hind Jim Murphy but also be­hind Labour ideals.

“Over the past few years I have been heav­ily in­volved in Labour cam­paigns at coun­cil level and in by-elec­tions and I look for­ward to play­ing an im­por­tant role in the Gen­eral Elec­tion and in lead­ing the 2016 cam­paign.

“The way Labour per­forms is ab­so­lutely cru­cial, not just to the party, but for the whole coun­try.

“A Labour ad­min­is­tra­tion will make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence, not just for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, but through­out Scot­land.”

Mr Kelly also said he was look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing the party’s business man­ager at Holy­rood.

Although not a front­bench role, the business man­ager is usu­ally a trusted lieu­tenant of the party leader.

The role in­volves deal­ing with in­ter­nal party af­fairs as well as li­ais­ing with other party business man­agers.

As business man­ager, Mr Kelly will be the new Scot­tish leader’s “eyes and ears” at Holy­rood.

Mr Kelly, who leaves his role as Labour’s spokesper­son on in­fra­struc­ture, in­vest­ment and ci­ties, said: “I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing un­der Jim’s lead­er­ship at a re­ally im­por­tant time for Scot­land as we move to­wards the Gen­eral Elec­tion in 2015.

“The role of Par­lia­men­tary Business Man­ager will al­low me to help em­pha­sise is­sues in the Par­lia­ment which are im­por­tant and I’ll also be able to link with Labour cam­paigns as we move to­wards the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

“I’m re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic about this new role and can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Mr Kelly ad­mit­ted he left his old po­si­tion, which will be taken on by Mary Fee MSP, with some sad­ness after cam­paign­ing on hous­ing and the liv­ing wage.

He said: “I en­joyed the role and high­light­ing is­sues such as the liv­ing wage and the lack of af­ford­able hous­ing, but you’ve al­ways got to change and freshen things up.

“This new role isn’t just about fo­cussing on Par­lia­ment but on cam­paigns and I can con­tinue to high­light th­ese is­sues.”

Man­ager James Kelly MSP has a new role in the shadow Scot­tish Labour cab­i­net

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