Labour would seek to work closely with Scottish Government on spending – Murray

A Labour-run Scotland Office would work in partnership with the Scottish Government when it uses its new spending powers, shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray has said.

Labour has said levelling-up money would be spent via the Scotland Office to tackle poverty and encourage growth if they won office.

Mr Murray said he was willing to work with the SNP on this but added “it takes two to tango”.

He was campaigning on Sunday alongside Edinburgh East and Musselburgh candidate Chris Murray.

The shadow Scottish Secretary said Labour had had more than 120,000 doorstep conversations in Scotland since the election campaign began.

He told journalists: “I can assure you that any Scotland Office that I run will be solely focused on delivering for the Scottish people and that means we’ve got to work closely together.

“Of course, it takes two to tango, they’ve got to also decide they want to dance.

“The Scotland Office will be turned into a spending department, we’ve got money to spend too.

“And the best bang for your buck is to work together to spend that money in local communities to create jobs and eradicate poverty.”

He mentioned the City Deals of recent years as a funding model, which involved partnerships with local councils, the Scottish Government and the UK Government.

Mr Murray said: “None of this is just a single decision for a single politician, so we’ll be working in partnership across government and with communities to deliver what they need to provide those jobs for the future.”

Earlier in the week, the Daily Record reported the Scotland Office would receive a £150 million “war chest” to fight poverty.

Mr Murray, who is Labour’s candidate in Edinburgh South, said this was around the sum that had been spent previously.