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Scottish Labour: Leader debate will focus on future

The search for a new leader for Scottish Labour will open up the debate about the party's "vision for Scotland", its interim chief Anas Sarwar has said.

Ed Miliband and outgoing Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont at the Scottish Labour Party conference. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Scottish Labour's Executive Committee met today and agreed a timetable for electing the new leader.

Mr Sarwar said anyone interested in the post will be invited to declare their candidacy from Monday.

This cannot be a process that only looks internally but crucially gives the party and the party members the opportunity to debate Scottish Labour's vision for Scotland."

– Interim Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Anas Sarwar

Scottish Labour leader to be announced December 13

The Scottish Labour Party have agreed a timetable for electing its new leader following the resignation of Johann Lamont.

  • Leadership candidates can declare their candidacy from October 27
  • MPs, MSPs and MEPs nominations will open on October 31
  • These nominations close on November 4
  • The ballot commences on November 17
  • The new leader will be announced on December 13

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Scottish Labour Party set to discuss new leader plans

The Scottish Labour Party are set to have a committee meeting later today to discuss plans for the new leadership after Johann Lamont resigned.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been backed by some MPs to take over the role.

Gordon Brown could step up as leader again after being backed by some MPs. Credit: PA

While East Renfrewshire MP and Better Together campaigner Jim Murphy is also rumoured to be in the frame.

Jim Murphy tirelessly campaigned for the No vote in the Scottish referendum. Credit: PA

But the bookie's favourite is current deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

Deputy Labour leader Anas Sarwar is current favourite to replace Johann Lamont. Credit: PA

Scottish Labour leader questions Miliband leadership

Ed Miliband's position as leader of the Labour party has been called into question by outgoing chair of the Scottish Labour Party Johann Lamont.

The criticism is another setback for Mr Miliband with just six months to go until a General Election as ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Weiner reports:

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.

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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

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

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

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont resigns

Labour leader Ed Miliband and Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Johann Lamont has resigned.

A Labour source said: "She realised it was time for a change in Scotland. She has put the party first. Ed regards her as an honourable woman who has served party well and we hope will serve the party again in the future."

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