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McFadden: Labour win at Westminster could have ‘big implications’ for Scotland

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A Labour victory in this year’s general election could have “big implications” for Scotland, the party’s UK campaign co-ordinator has said.

Pat McFadden, who has been a Labour MP for almost 20 years, insisted however that a Labour victory in the next Holyrood ballot is not “inevitable” if Sir Keir Starmer is voted into Downing Street.

The Scottish-born MP, who represents Wolverhampton South East, also stressed his party has a “lot of work to turn a possibility into a reality” in the Westminster election.

While UK-wide polls have consistently put Labour ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives, Mr McFadden claimed such research is “about as useful as looking in the rear-view mirror of your car and trying to predict the traffic conditions up ahead”.

He told Holyrood magazine: “They just tell you what’s happened up till now.”

The MP, who previously worked for Tony Blair, John Smith and Donald Dewar, added: “I am clear that Labour victories are a rarity, you have to earn them, you have to work hard for them.”

Adding that the “governance of the UK has for far too long been held hostage by the obsessions of right-wing Tories”, Mr McFadden said Labour will be “doing the public a great service by liberating the governance of the country from whatever the latest Tory obsession is going to be”.

Speaking in an interview ahead of the Scottish Labour conference, which is taking place in Glasgow from February 16, Mr McFadden said the “arithmetic we’ve got to overcome” in the general election is “really challenging”, but he praised Sir Keir for turning Labour “into a competitive force again”.

However he added: “We still have everything to prove. So, things are possible. But it’s a lot of work to turn a possibility into a reality.”

Asked if a Labour victory at Westminster makes a win at Holyrood inevitable in 2026, Mr McFadden added: “No, I don’t think anything is inevitable.

“But if we’ve won at UK level that has big implications on its own for Scotland.”

With the Scottish and Welsh parliaments both established after Mr Blair’s election victory in 1997, he stressed Labour’s role as the “founders of devolution”.

He said: “We took the view, and I still take it, that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and that, together, we had something bigger than each of us had to offer to the world.

“I still think that’s valid today and if we are elected that’s the view that the Labour Party would take.”

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