Mixed reactions to leadership victory
James Kelly MSP says the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader can help his party regain lost support.
Mr Kelly had previously said he was “not convinced the agenda he (Jeremy Corbyn) is offering is one that will take Labour forward.”
But he put that to one side this week as political figures from all parties in the area reacted to Mr Corbyn’s emphatic victory.
Mr Kelly, who had backed Andy Burnham for the leadership, said: “I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his election as leader.
“Labour will use the enthusiasm that his campaign generated to reach out to those voters that left Labour. We now have a fresh team in place and I am looking forward to Kez (Dugdale, Scottish leader) and Jeremy talking about the issues that matter to people.
“Speaking to local people in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, they want politicians to campaign for better and more secure jobs, a strong NHS and house building to address the thousands on housing waiting lists. These are the issues we will highlight in the weeks ahead.”
Mr Corbyn’s rise to Labour leader has sent shockwaves through British politics.
The left-winger had only entered the race to widen the debate on how to take Labour forward, but he ended up winning on the first ballot with 59 per cent of the vote.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, Margaret Ferrier, said she hoped to work with Mr Corbyn: “I’ve previously written in the Reformer about the need for proper opposition in the House of Commons, and hope that the Labour party will now support the SNP in our efforts to oppose the Tory’s damaging policies in areas such as austerity and Trident renewal.
“I hope Mr Corbyn’s principles remain steadfast now he is leader. The appointment of the unelected Lord Falconer to his shadow cabinet is a complete contradiction to his longstanding opposition to the absurd House of Lords.”
Liberal Democrat councillors, Robert Brown said he hoped there was an opportunity for his party: “Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party looks like signalling a civil war within Labour.
“More importantly for the country, we are seeing a Conservative Party in government lurching to the right and now the Labour Party returning to extreme left politics.”
And the Conservative candidate for Rutherglen at next year’s Scottish election, Taylor Muir, said the Tories were the only credible “pro-Union” party: “While Nicola Sturgeon breaks her infamous ‘once in a generation’ vow by planning another vote on independence, Labour have elected a leader who has rejected the label of a unionist and said he would work with the SNP to gain power.”
Cor blimey New Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn