Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour 'Faces Rebuilding Job' Admits Ex-Leader

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour 'Faces Rebuilding Job' Admits Ex-Leader

Article excerpt

FORMER Labour First Minister Henry McLeish yesterday called for a fundamental review within the party in the wake of its heavy losses in the Scottish elections.

Mr McLeish said the party had run a negative campaign and had failed to recognise how Scotland has changed over the last two decades.

Describing himself as "frustrated, disappointed and not surprised" by the result, Mr McLeish said he hoped it would serve as wake-up call for the party.

He argued that the origins of Labour's defeat stretched back at least as far as 2007 and said: "We've got to be strong enough to say, 'Let's stop the excuses'."

Mr McLeish said: "I think we recognise this has been a tremendous defeat for Labour... Quite frankly, I think the seeds of this defeat were sown not in this campaign, but were sown in 2007, and actually maybe before then.

"I think one of the great problems for Labour in Scotland is it has just failed to recognise that in political terms and in cultural terms Scotland is just a very different place. …

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