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  1. National

Lamont: Labour 'the only chance' for better Scotland

The outgoing chair of the Scottish Labour Party said "it has been an immense privilege to lead" the part during the "momentous time in Scottish politics."

In her resignation letter, Johann Lamont said she believed Labour Party is the "only chance for better Scotland."

Some, including senior members of the party, have questioned my place in this new phase. In order that we can have the real discussion about how we take Scottish Labour forward, I believe it would be best if I took myself out of the equation and stepped down as leader.

– Johann Lamont

"Despite the serious challenges we face, I strongly believe that the Labour Party is not only our best chance of achieving a better, fairer Scotland, it's our only chance," she said.

  1. National

Ed Miliband 'has questions to answer' on Lamont exit

Labour former first minister Lord McConnell told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme he was "very, very angry" and said UK party leader Ed Miliband had questions to answer.

He said:

She (JohannLamont) clearly blames today publicly Ed Miliband and those around him and that's a very serious accusation that requires answers, and it requires answers not just from him but from those closest to him.

I have had my concerns for some time about the way in which the Scottish Labour Party was struggling to set out a vision for the 21st century and a positive vision that would take us from opposition back into power. I think the responsibility for that difficulty is shared amongst a number of different people and I'm absolutely certain that Johann Lamont would take some responsibility herself for that.

– Lord McConnell

He added:

I think there are serious questions that need to be asked about what has happened in these past two weeks, but also that this issue has to be resolved in advance of the election of the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

– Lord McConnell

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  1. National

Salmond: Scottish Labour has 'deep-seated problems'

Alex Salmond announced he would stand down as SNP leader after Scotland voted No to independence. Credit: PA

Outgoing Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said:

I always found Johann Lamont to be a spirited opponent in the Scottish Parliament, strongly dedicated to her party, and I wish her well for the future.

The fact that Scottish Labour are now going to have their fifth leader since the SNP took office in 2007 indicates that their problems are not about personalities - they are much more deep-seated than that.

It was always very clear that Johann Lamont was never able to be meaningfully in charge of Labour in Scotland, and that is laid bare in dramatic fashion in her resignation comments.

– Alex Salmond
  1. National

Lamont: Westminster Labour treats Scottish party as 'branch office'

Lamont, right, takes a message from Labour leader Ed Miliband at a speech earlier this year. Credit: PA

Outgoing Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont has accused the Westminster leadership of treating the party in Scotland as a "branch office".

Announcing her resignation, Ms Lamont told the Daily Record:

Just as the SNP must embrace that devolution is the settled will of the Scottish people, the Labour Party must recognise that the Scottish party has to be autonomous and not just a branch office of a party based in London.

Scotland has chosen to remain in partnership with our neighbours in the UK. But Scotland is distinct and colleagues must recognise that.

There is a danger of Scottish politics being between two sets of dinosaurs ... the Nationalists who can't accept they were rejected by the people, and some colleagues at Westminster who think nothing has changed.

– Johann Lamont
  1. National

Blair denies saying Miliband can't lead Labour to victory

Tony Blair has denied the claims. Credit: PA

Tony Blair has denied saying Ed Miliband cannot lead Labour to victory at the General Election because he has "failed to connect with voters".

The Daily Telegraph claimed the former prime minister had told friends privately of his concerns.

The paper quoted a source as saying :"The Conservatives will be the next government because Labour has failed to make a good case for itself. That is what Tony thinks."

But Blair's office were quick to dismiss the alleged quotes and tweeted that the story "does not represent my view".

It added: "Ed Miliband and the Labour Party can and will win the next election."

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