Ian Murray is a Scottish Labour Party politician
Murray’s political career started in 2003 as an Edinburgh City councillor when he stood for the Council elections in Liberton and won a seat. He later represented the Liberton/Gilmerton ward from 2007 to 2010. He has been the Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South since 2010.
At Westminster he has served on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee. In 2011, he was appointed to the Shadow front bench, and currently serves as Shadow Trade and Investment Minister, where his responsibilities include trade and investment, export licencing, postal affairs and employment relations.
He is a member of Amnesty International, USDAW Union, Progress and the Fabian Society.
Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he attended Dumbryden primary school, then Wester Hailes Education Centre. He went on to study Social Policy and Law at the University of Edinburgh graduating with an Honours degree.
After University he went on to work at the Royal Blind, then in pensions management. After this he took up employment with an Edinburgh based internet television station. The company went bust and Murray decided to set-up his own event mamagement company, “100 mph Events Ltd.” He retained a major share holding in the company after taking up the duties of MP.
He has a long-term partner Hannah Catherine Woolfson, who is descended from Lithuanian Jews who were emigrating to America but got off the boat in Greenock because the seasickness was unbearable. He employed her, as a Casual Junior Secretary, until May 2012. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/110124/part2.htm
He owns a half share in a house in Edinburgh, which he shares with his partner Hannah, from which rental income is derived. (Registered 29 June 2011)
Ian Murray’s self penned Biography
As an event manager, Ian ran the largest arts festival in Europe for 7 years, during which time he was involved in television production, artistic programming, sponsorship and financial management and all other areas of the business from building scaffolding to presenting artists. Ian’s proudest moment as an event manager was his concert with Billy Bragg, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Earle, Joan Baez and Emmy-Lou Harris, which raised over £100,000 for the Landmine for a Free World Charity in 2004. Ian’s event management experience has included organising live music concerts and broadcasting over the internet, from various of Edinburgh’s large music venues.
Comment: If you voted Labour at the last Westminster election. You need to take a long hard look at this. I’m struggling to work out the truths and what are the not so truths. Murray which large arts festival did you run for 7 years? http://www.ianmurraymp.co.uk/biography.html
February 2010: Murray late nomination for the Edinburgh South constituency – Scandal Hit Nigel Griffiths stands down
Mr Griffiths, who was criticised during the MPs’ expenses scandal when he claimed for a 3,600 plasma television, is eligible for the cash payment to help him “adjust” to life outside Parliament. Half of the payment is tax-free. The Edinburgh MP is also eligible for a winding-up allowance designed to help with the expenses of running down a constituency office. But news of the payment and Mr Griffiths’s new job have been decried as “unacceptable” by campaigners in the wake of simmering public anger surrounding the MPs’ expenses scandal.
Martin Bell, the former MP who has written a book on the expenses saga, said: “It is quite reasonable for an MP who leaves at the behest of an election defeat to get this payment. But I would have thought, if they have already lined up a job before leaving office, they should not be paid the money because it has come from the taxpayer.”
It was widely predicted that Mr Griffiths would have struggled to retain his Edinburgh South seat following a sex scandal in 2008. The former minister allegedly had an intimate encounter with a brunette in his Westminster office. The 54-year-old, who has been married for 30 years, later apologised for engaging in sexual activity in his House of Commons office. He said he was ashamed of his actions, which he said fell below acceptable standards. The Scotsman revealed yesterday that Mr Griffiths told party members in his constituency that he would not be standing for re-election and would instead take up a job with an “international educational institution”.
April 2010: Murray Campaign gets nasty early – Sign of things to come?
April 2010: The 2010 General Election campaign was barely four hours old when the first serious spat erupted between Labour and the Conservatives in Edinburgh South. Ian Murray, the Labour candidate, had distributed leaflets claiming that an incoming Tory government would put at risk a whole series of pensioner benefits, including winter fuel payments and free TV licences. The Tories were furious, insisting that they had promised categorically and publicly, on many occasions, that they would not cut these benefits. One senior Tory source said: “These are just wrong. We have made it crystal clear that we are not going to do these things, but Ian Murray has put them out anyway. It is outrageous.” Mr Murray hit back yesterday by insisting he did not trust the Conservatives’ promises anyway so he was right to “pose the question” about what might be at risk if the Tories win the election. Early warning for anyone intending to run for political office against Murray. He gets into the gutter very early on and will broadcast anything to gain advantage regardless 0f truth.
September 2012: “People want entrepreneurs to earn money through hard work” The Thought’s of Ian Murray MP
Public spending: Other members of the Labour shadow cabinet have put forward ideas, like shadow home office minister Stella Creasy’s suggestion of a “zero budget” spending review. Creasy’s idea would be to put everything “on the table” in order to “reassess every single item of departmental public spending”. In short, everything (even the NHS) would be put under the microscope.
You could wonder if Creasy was speaking out of turn, or at least, not representing Labour’s stance on the economy. As part of Labour’s business team, would Murray agree with her? “Absolutely, if you start from a zero budget spending review, you can always work forward if you have money available. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in saying that you have to look at where your money is best spent.”
I remind Murray that the “zero budget” would mean that even things like the NHS would not be safe from the scalpel. Former chancellor Nigel Lawson once compared the health service to the closest thing Britain has to a national religion. Surely Labour would want to protect it? “It is a very emotive topic, people want more money spent on the NHS and that is absolutely right.” But, does that mean Labour would keep the NHS off the table? “It shouldn’t be exempt, on the basis of the government are spending £2bn on a top-down reorganisation on it. So if you don’t exempt the NHS and say we’re going to look at spending on the NHS, maybe you could spend that £2bn differently.”
Murray is very sharp and well versed in Labour policy, But in trying to ensure equality and “fairness”, how can Labour seriously encourage businesses to succeed? After all, entrepreneurs are the engine of inequality. You can’t have buccaneering tycoons making millions and have greater income equality. After a palpable pause, Murray scoffs “That is a first year university course exam paper question!” Pointing to his experience as small business owner, he goes on to ask “Do you need an unequal society to make that successful”?
Bob Crow and RMT: Would he be so warm about Bob Crow, after the RMT’s repeated tube strikes in London?
“First thing I’d like to say is Bob Crow is not affiliated to the Labour party in any way” he rushes to make clear. But would he condone the RMT’s tendency to threaten strikes in order to get their pay rises? “If you feel as if you’re being done a disservice and you’re asking your staff to go above and beyond the call of duty and the biggest level you’d got is we’d scupper that, you’d use that wouldn’t you?” he replies gnomically.
Murray defends the idea of RMT tube drivers getting bonuses as “we’re talking about a few hundred pounds to some low paid workers, I don’t see what the problem is”. The problem, I remind him, is that the average salary of a tube driver is £45,000. The national average salary is £26,200, while a nurse starts out on £22,000. Even a trainee tube driver starts out on near £40,000. If he can defend tube driver bonuses as “absolutely right”, what about their salaries?
His first answer is to admit “I’m not really aware of how much tube drivers are paid”. After I repeat the figure down the phone, the Labour business minister asks “is that a basic salary without overtime?” I read out quote from a London Underground official in full, saying “Tube drivers earn a fixed salary of around £44,545 per annum plus benefits”. Finally, Murray answers: “Well, you know, salary levels for any organisation is based on what the market will provide at any time.”
This is odd. Unions exist to buck the market. They use the threat of mass disobedience to ensure pay levels are a premium of what the market would provide. I probe further. Does Murray believe the tube driver pay is about right? “I’m not getting into any discussion on whether they should be paid less or more. If that’s what TfL is paying tube drivers, then that’s what they’re worth,” he replies.
He swerves away from answering if that means Bob Crow has done a good job in getting such a bumper pay package for his members. However, he adds enigmatically: “You’re comparing a £44-45k to £22k. But you’re comparing someone who has worked a long time in the tubes with a newly qualified nurse.”
However, he insists that he was not making the distinction based on experience, adding: “You can create any argument you wish by taking the extremities of both. You can say a junior consultant earns X and should they be paid less a tube driver?” http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/-people-want-entrepreneurs-to-earn-money-through-hard-work-ian-murray-mp/3455
* How can an employment minister not know what the average national salary is? That’s like a Tube driver not knowing when to stop at red signals. Oh, hang on, they don’t know when to stop at red signals – hence all the “signal failures”. Presumably a nurse still knows how to help save lives however. Yet Murray still defends Tube drivers’ salaries and bonus demands? Unforgivable.
* It appears the labour party will subject the NHS to another 5 years of turmoil with a comprehensive zero-based budget approach. How sad.
March 2013: The Workfare Bill
The House of Commons passed the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill, which included a clause that retroactively changed the law to prevent back payment of approximately £130 million worth of benefits that had been found by a court decision to have been wrongly withheld.
The undernoted Scottish MP’s voted against the Bill in the belief that monies owed to claimants should be made since to do so would constitute an illegal act. Ian Murray’s name is not on the list. He and many of his Labour party colleagues let the poorest members of society down badly. Note the SNP were 100% in favour of payments being made.
6 of 6 (100%) of SNP MPs: Stewart Hosie (Dundee East), Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar), Angus Robertson (Moray), Mike Weir (Angus), Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan), Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire
7 of 40 (18%) Labour MPs: Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran), Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk), Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West), Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith), Jim McGovern (Dundee West), Sandra Osborne (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) http://blog.scottishelections.org.uk/2013/03/how-scottish-mps-voted-on-workfare-bill.html
November 2013: An MP has a duty to find the most cost effective office space available. He rented an office owned by a trust fund controlled by ex MP Nigel Griffiths. Is that best value for the taxpayers, or was he extending the largesse? Labour MP Murray has paid £5,847.74 in office rent to Nigel Griffiths, who used to represent his Edinburgh South seat. Griffiths quit Parliament in shame at the last election admitting cheating on his wife with a mystery brunette in the House of Commons. Murray said that the constituency office was well established and that he had looked around for something that was better value but had not found it
2012 /13 Expenses Breakdown
In addition to his £66,396 a year salary he claimed the highest amount of any Lothian MP for his energy bill of over £747. Good to see taxpayers paying for an early energy freeze for MPs when many are struggling to heat their homes.
He also claimed an additional £181,840 in expenses, including the third highest amount in the UK for his Constituency Office at £26,593 which is crazy as since devolution Scottish MPs have fewer responsibilities than English MPs.
The Office expenses don’t include his staff salaries amounting to £121,430 which also provides extra household income by employing his partner as a secretary. http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/ViewAnnualisedTransactionalData.aspx
Total Approximate Cost 1 year – £370,000 x 5 = £1,850,000
April 2014: Smeargate 2014 Referendum Campaign
In 2014 Murray alleged that supporters of Scottish Independence had vandalised his office. Critics claimed there was no evidence to support the allegation and accused Murray of “smearing” Scottish nationalists. He subsequently said the office had been plastered with pro-independence “Yes” stickers, which had been removed. http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/ian-murray-row-over-pro-independence-stickers-1-3363085
It very soon surfaced that his claims were a load of tosh. See comments submitted by locals.:
* Murray has done himself no favours with this claim. A few stickers, if there were even stickers in the first place, could hardly be described as “completely outrageous”. It is certainly not a police matter.
* Perhaps he should remove his pro Labour propaganda from the windows of his constituency office now he represents all the constituency not just Labour voters? He has contact details for Labour councillors but no other party in the area. Is that even legal Ian?
* You decided to move into a high profile shop on a very busy street for the simple reason to boost your profile. Don’t get too upset if someone puts a sticker on your window. Some of your constituents have to put up with far worse harassment.
* I would encourage people to check out his twitter account and the picture he put up, it is of the graffiti on the doors that has been there for several months not yes stickers.
* Own goal Mr Murray, own goal.
* Typical bluster from a minor politician. Anyone who considers this the sort of thing that needs reported to the police (informally or otherwise) needs a serious reality check.
* I wonder did he report the much more tangible ‘vandalism’ to the front door?
* Once again shoddy journalism reporting this as SNP stickers. There was no suggestion of this and the only picture, of a solitary sticker, says ‘Yes 2014’.
* Really…12 stickers The photos I’ve seen are 1 yes only 1 sticker with YES 2014 on it.
* Mega expenses Murray can’t even get his story right. Yes stickers become Yes flyers or Yes Scotland stickers or even SNP stickers.
* His attempt to smear the Yes campaign with unsubstantiated claims of vandalism and threats to his staff on the basis that some prankster put a couple of stickers on his scruffy graffiti strewn front door has rebounded spectacularly.
* Surely his £181,840 A year expenses claims could have bought a pot of matching paint during the two years his constituency office door has been a mess.
* It’s just not right. Nothing can be funnier than politicians and no-one could be as offensive as the moonlighting MP. Sooner this guy capitulates from public life the better.
* His staff removed the stickers shortly after they were stuck on his office. So now we have more witnesses. What did the staff say? (Might be an idea to remove some of that grass and weeds fae under the windae anaw.)
* Murray was caught out trying to smear the pro independence campaign, by claiming his offices were vandalised. Now that IS a serious claim. One thinks of smashed windows or paint daubed on the walls or graffiti.
* When people heard about the vandalism, they went to look and do you what readers, there wasn’t any evidence of such, in fact NOTHING. All except for a botched up paint job on the door from earlier (as in 2012) piece of actual vandalism committed by kids. You can tell its old as you can see the exact same state from Google street view. Despite all these expenses Murray cant be bothered to get the door properly painted!
* So what was this act of ‘vandalism’ claimed by Murray? Well he later changed his story to one where someone had placed a generic ‘Scotland 2014’ sticker on one of the windows. Yes that’s One single sticker, he even posted a picture of it.
* Sad thing is other Labour politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, such as Curran, to slate the SNP, who have nothing to do with this. This seems a common occurrence from labour, where they roll out the smear, which turns out not to be all quite what it seems
April 2014: MP Ian Murray voted in favour of and defended the Con/Dem benefits cap
Critics argued the move to limit what working families, pensioners, and those on disability benefits can receive from the government would plunge hard-up families from some of the most impoverished areas of Scotland further into poverty. http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/welfare-betrayal-and-labouring-under.html (Another view of the nonsense)
Labour insisted nobody who was entitled to benefits would be left out and added that the new measures would hold the government accountable for their actions. He said: “You can’t stop people getting benefits. you only qualify only if you are entitled. That’s the rules. http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2014/04/09/494391-mp-john-robertson-defends-benefits-cap-vote/
Maria Muir was scathing (on her blog) about the conduct of Robertson and his fellow Labour MP’s.
Commenting Eilidh Whiteford (SNP) MP said: “The SNP voted against the welfare cap today because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low-income families.
This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.” https://mariamuir.com/meet-32-scottish-labour-mps-voted-tory-welfare-cap/
Shame on you Scottish Labour: https://crowhousekitchen.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/shame-on-you-scottish-labour/
welfare cap means more childhood poverty: https://snookcocker.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/welfare-cap-means-childhood-poverty/
Labour supports welfare cap: https://kombatbadger.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/labour-supports-welfare-cap/
The word AUSTERITY was introduced to the Scottish public big time as a result of this appalling legislation which brought about great hardship.Foodbanks and other charitable organisations took over the care of the nations poor from the Con/Dem government and the Labour party who had supported them in the attack on the nations sick, poor and needy. Disgracefully the same Scottish labour MP’s will submit their names for re-election in May 2015. Surely the electorate will deny them that privilege.
January 2015: Scottish Labour MPs vote to back Tory cuts
It has been revealed 28 Scottish Labour MPs voted with the UK government for £75billion of cuts and tax rises. Commenting, SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:
“Labour have shown their true colours in siding with the Tories, and it shows now even more clearly that only by voting SNP can Westminster’s obsession with imposing austerity cuts – that just don’t work – be changed. George Osborne is committed to continued austerity which will hit Scottish public services- and tonight he has been backed by Scottish Labour.
The Scottish Labour MPs who voted tonight with the Tories represent some of the areas which have been hardest hit by government austerity measures, and it will be ordinary, hard-working people in their constituencies who will continue to suffer.”
Douglas Alexander, Paisley & Renfrewshire N – Willie Bain, Glasgow NE – Gordon Banks, Ochil & S Perthshire – Anne Begg, Aberdeen S – Russell Brown, Dumfries and Galloway
Michael Connarty, Linlithgow & E Falkirk – Margaret Curran, Glasgow E – Iain Davidson, Glasgow SW – Thomas Docherty, Dunfermline & W Fife – Brian Donohoe, Central Ayshire
Frank Doran, Aberdeen N – Gemma Doyle, W Dunbartonshire – Tom Greatrex, Rutherglen & Hamilton W – David Hamilton, Midlothian – Tom Harris, Glasgow S – Anne McGuire, Stirling
Jimmy Hood, Lanark & Hamilton E – Cathy Jamieson, Kilmarnock & Loudoun – Iain MacKenzie, Inverclyde – Michael McCann, E Kilbride Straven & Lesmahagow – Graham Morrice, Livingston
Gregg McClymont, Cumbernauld Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch – Iain Murray, Edinburgh S – Pamela Nash, Airdrie and Shotts – Fiona O’Donnell, East Lothian – John Robertson, Glasgow NW
Frank Roy, Motherwell & Wishaw – Anas Sarwar, Glasgow Central http://www.snp.org/?q=media-centre/news/2015/jan/scottish-labour-mps-vote-back-tory-cuts
February 2015: Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee attacked the Labour Party for accepting support from accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
A number of Labour MPs – including Ed Balls, Chuka Umunna – have received more than £540,000 in research assistance from the firm in the past 18 months alone.
Ian Murray has been provided with the services of a PricewaterhouseCoopers research assistant, supporting him in his role at the Independent Export Commission (November 2014 – May 2015.) Total value of secondment is £45,000. Murray is researching the internal workings of “TTIP” the much hyped US World trade agreement which PricewaterhouseCoopers is in support of.
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves currently has a PwC analyst working to support her who is paid at a rate of more than £500 a day. Mrs Hodge said this was arrangement was “inappropriate” and should end.
The committee chaired by Mrs Hodge has accused PWC of “promoting tax avoidance” on an industrial scale.
PwC said it disagreed with the Public Accounts Committee report and denied claims by Mrs Hodge that the firm had misled her committee when its executives gave evidence in January 2013.
The company said in a statement that it had “no political affiliation” and did not make “any cash donations to any political party or other groups with a political agenda”.
But they added: “In the interests of the firm and its clients, we seek to develop and maintain constructive relationships with the main political parties”.
The Barking MP told the World at One: “You have to be very, very careful when you’re in opposition whom you take money from”. She added that there needed to be “greater transparency and tougher rules” regarding secondments.
The Public Accounts Committee report focuses on PwC’s tax avoidance schemes, which are legal, but allow companies to divert profits to tax havens like Luxembourg via a series of loans between different parts of the business. The profits are eventually taxed in that country, but often at tiny rates.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “PwC have provided long standing support to all three major political parties on a non-party basis, as happened for the Conservatives and Lib Dems before the last election. “Given the complexity of government and that opposition parties do not have significant access to civil servants, the support provided by organisations such as these helps ensure that there is better scrutiny of government policy.
“Where organisations provide staff to support research and analysis for opposition parties it is right that these are declared – as currently happens – in the Register of Members’ Interests.” Declarations in the current register show Labour MPs have received more than £540,000 in assistance from the firm since September 2013.
PwC said its staff provided “limited and fully disclosed technical support to the main political parties” but added: “We do not develop policy on their behalf.” Staff on secondment might make “observations on the improvement of legislation or proposed legislation”, the firm added in a statement.
That suggests a conflict of interest, particularly as Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said it was ‘inappropriate’ to accept unpaid help from the firm accused by MPs of promoting tax avoidance schemes on an ‘industrial scale’.
December 2014: The UK needs an approach to joining TTIP the the public understand and trust
There are legitimate concerns that TTIP could seriously hamper the UK’s ability to restore fairness in Britain. These need to be formally addressed and resolved and inserted into any draft agreement. Concerns include, insufficient exemptions for the NHS, and other public services whichould lead to serious legal challenges to any future re-nationalisation.
There are also concerns that TTIP could also challenge transparency and accountability, as any Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), even a reformed one, could create the perception of transferring power away from the people.
There are further concerns that public safety could be at risk. There will need to be a deal of hard campaigning to ensure that proper provisions on labour and environmental standards are included to prevent social dumping, pressures on wages and hampering the Country’s efforts to tackle climate change.
Jun 2014: TTIP – Torturous negotiations but so much at stake for the UK
TTIP negotiations began 12 months ago at the G8 Summit in Enniskillen but have become fragmented in recent months, with the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause causing a significant stumbling block to progress.
The controversial clause would allow investors to sue sovereign governments if they thought local laws were impacting negatively on their investments.
In a rare instance of the clause being activated last year, mining company Lone Pine Resources brought a $250mn lawsuit on the Quebecois government because its moratorium on fracking hit the investment it had made in local shale deposits.
The EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht has since called on ISDS to be dropped from TTIP discussions, but anti-free trade campaigners have been trying to draw attention to its potential inclusion.
Murray drew a parallel with the recent free trade agreements the EU negotiated with Canada and South Korea, which allowed for both the protection of public services and which included a toned-down form of ISDS.
The EU website says the version of ISDS included in the Canadian agreement “has a number of key features designed to ensure that the system is effective and efficient, whilst providing important procedural safeguards which will improve the control of the parties of the interpretation of the agreement and ensure that frivolous cases are discouraged or swiftly dismissed”.
Addressing fears around the US use of genetically-modified organisms (GMO) which are banned in EU food production, Murray said: “They’re banned in Europe already, so they’ll [the US] find that difficult to negotiate away.
He called on negotiators to ensure that the agreement is “beneficial for consumers and jobs”, and said he would support independent, government-funded research into the actual benefits of TTIP.
March 2015: Wings over Scotland – A Question Answered
Lovers of blood sports enjoyed a very special treat on this morning’s Sunday Politics Scotland, as Gordon Brewer got his teeth firmly around the throat of hapless Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray and shook him like a rag doll for ten toe-curling minutes. We have the clip for you. Brewer was having so much fun tormenting Murray by repeatedly demanding an answer to the question of whether his party would rule out an electoral deal with the SNP that he didn’t notice when, at about the 15th time of asking, he actually got one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqHcyLIMMj8
April 2015: Scottish National Party’s electoral chances
Speaking on the Today programme about the potential for the SNP to take seats from Labour in Scotland and how the party could use this to press its policy programme were Labour MP Ian Murray and former SNP Special Adviser Ewan Crawford.
Mr Murray said that it was “academic” whether his party could rule out a coalition with the SNP, as wider polling showed that every seat lost to the SNP put the Conservatives closer to Downing Street.
If Labour lost heavily in Scotland Scotland, the Conservatives would win the election, he suggested. He pointed out that according to precedent, the largest party would form a Government.
He said that Labour was not thinking about a coalition with the SNP as that was not what it wanted. “We don’t want it; we don’t need it”, he said. – See more at: http://www1.dehavillandeurope.eu/news/press-review-6-march-2015-1#sthash.i5zPOudo.dpuf
Comment: Murray spouts the Labour Party mantra about the largest party forming the government which is nonsense Kevin Maguire has other ideas: The Daily Mirror, Senior political writer, Monday 27 April 2015. Crisis? What crisis? Tories lose the plot.
Wretched Tories sound like they are plotting a coup. Cameron possesses no god-given right to be Premier, so deluded conservatives should stop threatening parliamentary democracy. The PM will be whoever – Cameron or Miliband commands the Commons with no constitutional requirement for him to be the leader of the largest party.
The Tories have a misplaced sense of entitlement and behave as if they own No10. Cons screaming about a Labour-SNP pact are simply throwing another dead cat onto the table, in order to divert attention away from the Grim Reaper’s scythe that’s swinging Dave’s way.
So there it is. This surely puts the “Largest Party” statement continously advanced by Murphy, Murray et.al in the bin where it belongs.
April 2015: If zero hours contracts are so bad, how come these 68 Labour MPs used them?
Ed Miliband blasted David Cameron and big business over zero hours contracts – and pledged to stick up for ordinary workers who are being “exploited.”
Speaking in Yorkshire, the Labour leader raged: “Less than a week ago, you may have heard the Prime Minister say that he couldn’t live on a zero hours contract. Well, I couldn’t live on a zero hours contract either.
I’ve got a simple principle – if it is not good enough for us, it’s not good enough for you and it’s not good enough for Britain.
“That’s the way I will run our country. One rule for all.” Except there’s one small problem for Ed. It has been revealed that a large number of Labour MPs have employed workers on “zero hours” contracts over the past two years .
The damning list of 68 (nearly a quarter of the Labour parliamentary party) includes Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Lucy Powell, Labour’s elections chief and Karen Buck, Ed Miliband’s parliamentary aide.
MPs pay and expenses watchdog IPSA released the figures earlier this year after a Freedom of Information request. Labour insist their MPs use the casual contracts to hire interns or students on flexible deals.
But officials from Labour’s biggest trade union donor insist all MPs should set an example to business. Steve Turner, Unite regional officer, said last year: “Parliament passed the laws that are supposed to protect pay and conditions. “Our MPs ought to be upholding them, setting a high standard for employers.”
Adrian Bailey, Alan Campbell, Alan Meale, Alex Cunningham, Andy Burnham, Andy Slaughter, Ann Clwyd, Ann McKechin, Barbara Keeley, Barry Sheerman, Ben Bradshaw, Bob Ainsworth, Bridget Phillipson, Catherine McKinnell, Chinyelu Susan Onwurah, Chris Evans, Clive Efford, Dan Jarvis, Ed Balls, Fiona Mactaggart, Frank Dobson, George Mudie, Glenda Jackson ,Graeme Morrice, Graham Jones, Gregg McClymont, Heidi Alexander, Helen Jones, Huw Irranca Davies, Ian Lucas, Ian Murray, John Woodcock, Jon Trickett, Jonathan Ashworth, Julie Hilling, Karen Buck, Katy Clark, Kerry McCarthy, Kevan Jones, Lilian Greenwood, Louise Ellman, Luciana Berger, Lucy Powell, Lyn Brown, Margaret Curran, Mary Creagh, Meg Hillier, Meg Munn, Mike Wood, Nic Dakin, Pat Glass, Peter Hain, Rachel Reeves, Rosie Cooper, Rushanara Ali, Sarah Champion, Seema Malhotra, Shabana Mahmood, Sheila Gilmore, Stephen Twigg, Susan Jones, Toby Perkins, Tom Greatrex, Valerie Vaz, Vernon Coaker, Virendra Sharma, Yasmin Qureshi.
November 2014: Commons-Hansard – Zero Hours Contracts Bill – Second Reading
Ian Mearns (Gateshead) (Lab): In politics, it is said that there are no final victories and no final defeats; that each generation must fight many of the same battles that the generation before have, and that the generation after may have to fight as well. Today, I am fighting for the same thing that people of every generation have fought for: the right to decent and secure conditions and terms of employment.
It is not a great ask. A well-paid and steady job is the bedrock on which people build their lives. It is the starting point for planning for the future, and the platform of stability needed to pay the bills, meet the rent, pay the mortgage and start a family. Those are not extravagances, but the minimum that should be available to any person who is prepared to work to pay their way in a wealthy nation such as ours. Yet that stability and security is denied to millions of workers in this country. Increasingly, people are finding themselves plagued by job insecurity, not knowing from one day to the next whether they will be working or earning.
In recent years, the rise in the number of those feeling insecure at work is worrying. Nowhere is that clearer than in the explosion in the use of zero-hours contracts. Such contracts are an employer’s paradise. they are a one-way street, because they demand total flexibility and commitment from individual employees but offer very little in return from the employer.
As recently as last year, the coalition was claiming that slightly more than 200,000 people were employed on zero-hours contracts. The true figure, as revealed by the Office for National Statistics, was in fact seven times higher than Government Ministers admitted – a staggering 1.4 million people engaged in zero-hours employment contracts.as been startling.
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South) (Lab): My hon. Friend is making a powerful speech on the use of zero-hours contracts, but is not the proof of the pudding always in the eating? Although unemployment has gone down in this country, the tax-take to the Treasury from income tax has stayed flat, despite the Treasury predicting a huge increase. That shows that we have under-employment and a massive explosion in zero-hours contracts. Double standards Mr Murray. You are guilty as charged employing staff on zero hours contracts yourself.
Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con): To be perfectly honest, I must say, and we need to get this on the record before the clock counts us out, that it is a bit rich for the Labour party to come here en masse to pretend that they are massively opposed to zero-hours contracts, when if one believes what one reads in the press – I am one of those who does, rightly or wrongly – it appears that some of the worst offenders are not only Labour councils, but Labour MPs. I do not know whether any of those in the Chamber want to fess up today, but perhaps those who skulked out quietly at the start of this debate are the guilty parties. I read somewhere – so it must be true – that 62 Labour MPs, which I reckon is about a quarter of them, actually employ their staff on zero-hours contracts, which I cannot believe. http://www.ianmearns.org.uk/141121zerohours.htm
July 2013: The hidden scandal of zero-hours contracts
MP Ian Murray concentrated on the complexities of employment law affecting zero-hours workers, including the difficulty in classifying them as a “worker” in a legal sense. “Many would argue that someone on a zero-hours contract is, in fact, a worker, but that worker needs to have some kind of mutuality of obligation, and there cannot be a mutuality of obligation if the workers has to turn up for work at their expense, but the employer has no need to give them any hours”. http://www.ier.org.uk/blog/what-coalition-wishes-it-could-ignore-hidden-scandal-zero-hours-contracts
April 2015: Labour MP breaks ranks over Trident
Murray told The Scotsman that he had a “different view on Trident” to the Labour leadership and also suggested he would be prepared to vote against his own party on the issue in the House of Commons.
The shadow minister, who is seeking re-election as the MP for Edinburgh South, is thought to be the first member of Mr Miliband’s frontbench team to deviate from the official Labour line of being fully committed to renewing Trident.
When asked whether he would be prepared to face being sacked from Labour’s frontbench for voting with the SNP against Trident, Mr Murray said: “I’m more than happy to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
The Labour politician said it would be “bonkers” if he allowed concerns about being in the same House of Commons lobby as the SNP on the Trident issue to dictate his position, which he insisted was a matter of principle rather than party loyalty.
He said: “I have a different view on Trident. The party position is the party position. I’ve made it clear that I wouldn’t support it [Trident].”
January 2015: Angus Robertson Called for the removal of nuclear weapons from Scotland and abandonment of the proposed Trident replacement.
On conclusion of the debate a vote was conducted. Only 35 MP’s voted with Angus Roberston in favour of cancelling the Trident replacement. Mr Murray failed to vote. So much for being anti Trident.
Abbott Diane, Blunt Crispin, Campbell Ronnie, Clark Katy, Connarty Michael, Corbyn Jeremy, Crockart Mike, Davidson Ian, Durkan Mark,
Flynn Paul, Galloway George, George Andrew, Godsiff Roger, Hancock Mike, Hopkins Kelvin, Hosie Stewart, Huppert Julian, Lammy David,
Lazarowicz Mark, Llwyd Elfyn, Long Naomi, Lucas Caroline, MacNeil Angus, McDonnell John, Morris Grahame, O’Donnell Fiona,
Osborne Sandra, Ritchie Margaret, Robertson Angus, Skinner Dennis, Smith Andrew, Stringer Graham, Walley Joan, Weir Mike,
Whiteford Eilidh, Williams Hywel, Williams Mark, Pete Wishart, Jonathan Edwards. Ayes 35, Noes 364.
Scottish Labour immediately leapt on the article and demanded Mr Hay be sacked as the candidate, less than two weeks before the election. It’s not possible to replace a candidate at such a late stage – some voters may already have voted by post – and such a move would thereby effectively have handed the seat to the Labour candidate and previous MP Ian Murray by default.
The story turned out to be an absurd, massive exaggeration and misrepresentation of the reality. But it also exposed a level of naked, shameless dishonesty and hypocrisy in Scottish Labour, and in particular its deputy leader Kezia Dugdale, that even this site hadn’t previously dared to imagine.
Below is an extract from First Ministers Questions in which the issue was discussed. In it we hear Ms Dugdale repeat the accusations from the and assert that Mr Hay had “described the majority of Scots as traitors”. But that allegation is a total falsehood. The Scottish Sun tracked down the offending tweet from Mr Hay’s pseudonymous (now deleted) account and it says no such thing.
Full mucky story: http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-serious-case-of-hypocrisy/
Comments in the Edinburgh Evening News
Personally sick of Project Smear and now seriously annoyed. Will now vote for him even if the Evening News reveals that his principal pastimes are strangling kittens and robbing old ladies. I’m sorry for Ian Murray, who is a good local MP, but this muck-spreading has gone too far. Incidentally, if Scotland does elect 40-plus SNP MPs, who do you hope to sell your newspaper to? I don’t claim to be morally superior, but neither do I spend my time scrabbling in the dirt.
What has the Edinburgh News been offered to so debase their professional integrity to run nudge nudge, tripe like this, ok labour spin what’s next, he parked on a double yellow line when picking up a fish tea? Farted in a elevator? Forgot his PIN number had to call his bank and brought down the entire banking system, we deserve to be told!
This publication is overclubbing it so much I’m almost starting to have sympathy for Mr Hay, despite him appearing to be a bit of an eedjit.
Personally speaking I used an accountant in the past to minimise my exposure to paying tax when I was self employed. It doesn’t make me immoral or anything it’s just that paying an accountant to do my tax returns saved me more than he/she costed. It certainly doesn’t belittle the accountancy firm in any way.
I can only wonder what Mr Hay has done to offend Mr Maddox, but presumbly is was something nasty given the vendetta he appears to be pursuing. I agree and support the exposure of “tweets” made under an assumed name not least because this kind of sniping and rabble rousing is cheap. nasty and smacks of mob rule. BUT Mr Hay’s occupation, however moraly offensive Mr Maddox might find it, was not illegal or any worse than the occupation of any number of politicians from all political parties. There is already blood in the water and once the sharks have circled a bit I don’t doubt that Mr Hay will have to serve his time in the wilderness and – if he is deemd worthy by his peers – manage a quiet return at some point in the future. This is life in politics, the mechanism is modern, but the principle is ancient, in politics there is only one sin – to be found out. There is a long list of victims and I dare say if you actually delved into the past of some political ‘heroes’ there is always something unsavoury to be found. Of greater concern is the amount of energy being focussed on this matter rather than on the very real problems that face us as a nation and as individuals. But then again that is the way politics has always been and sadly always will be.
The discrepancies between Mr Hay’s ACTUAL tweets and the statements being made in Mr Maddox’s articles really beggar belief. I imagined that Maddox was building up to the point when a ‘smoking gun’ is revealed – but no, just more innuendo. Regardless of one’s politics, surely we can expect better from this newspaper? Perhaps not! However, given the current journalistic focus here on associating with companies in the tax and wealth management business, perhaps the Editor might consider this worthy of publication? On 6th February 2015, BBC News online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31147276 reported that: ‘Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been accused of promoting tax avoidance “on an industrial scale” ‘. The BBC is referring to a report prepared by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee chaired by the Labor MP, Margaret Hodge. In the official House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests (as at 30th March 2015: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/150330/150330.pdf , Ian Murray MP declares a sponsorship he has received on 10 November 2014 from the same PriceWaterhouseCoopers amounting to £45k to provide research services. By the way, I am not an SNP member but I am sick and tired of the way the MSM in Scotland does politics.
Once again, we get the usual, dig dirt on a candidate and trumpet it to the whole world, it’s better than trying to convince people of the merits of your own policies. Labour running it’s own version of PROJECT FEAR! http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/cybernat-neil-hay-blasted-for-tax-dodge-role-1-3754312
April 24 2015 – Statement by a badly offended Ian Murray printed in the Daily Mail 24 April 2015.
Posted to Twitter 24 April 2015, by Alan Roden, Political Editor of the Scottish Daily Mail (https://twitter.com/AlanRoden)
As an MP I also receive all manner of personal abuse on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s not acceptable and I generally put it down to those with too much time on their hands who hide behind anonymity.
For years I have given senior people in the SNP the benefit of the doubt. I used to make a clear distinction between those at the top of the party and the midnight keyboard warriors who abuse anybody on social media who dares to disagree with the Nationalist view of the world.
Not any more. When my SNP opponent in Edinburgh South , Neil Hay set up a false Twitter account solely to harass and abuse people, he exposed the clear link between the cybernats and SNP candidates.
The fact that Mr Hay called those who voted No in the referendum traitors is bad enough. But questioning the right of pensioners in Scotland to even vote in the first place is beyond the pale.
Those comments are not part of modern Scotland and should not be tolerated. We must respect everyone’s views.
How could he possibly represent pensioners in Edinburgh when he doesn’t even think they should be allowed to cast their vote. Would he ask someone on benefits how they voted in the referendum before helping them with their claim?
Will he disregard the views of older people who ask him to represent their views in Parliament?
This is probably the first major test of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership of the SNP and so far she has fundamentally failed.
Lots of people can condemn appalling comments on social media after they have been made. Sympathising with the victims of online abuse isn’t a huge effort. It is a pretty simple thing to do. The real challenge facing Miss Sturgeon is whether she will do anything to stand up to the perpetrators in her own party.
By refusing to sack Neil Hay as the SNP’s candidate in Edinburgh South, she is effectively saying that online abuse is acceptable, just as long as people don’t get caught. A quick slap on the wrists when they are exposed and off they pop back onto the doorsteps asking people for their votes.
I am proud of my record as a local MP. If I have the honour of being re-elected I will be a representative of everybody in the constituency. After yesterday it’s clear beyond all doubt that the SNP’s Neil Hay cannot say the same.
But square the foregoing with the undernoted posted by Fifi La Bonbon, (aka Kezia Dugdale) who at the end of April 2015 made a tremendous fuss in Parliament attacking Mr Hay, demanding the SNP disown him.
The 2014 referendum:
Fifi la Bonbon: I oppose giving the vote to children, but not because of paedophile hysteria, but because they’re too daft to vote. How would publishing younger people’s details on the electoral register be of any benefit to paedophile ? What is the paedophile “danger” these “experts” are exercising their gums about? Would a paedophile look up the details of someone apparently aged 15, and then write to them to ask if they would like to see some puppies?
Her views that 15-17 year olds are too daft to vote will be extremely offensive to the younger members of Scottish society trusted by the SNP to vote in the referendum and any future Scottish Parliamentary Election. The Deputy Leader of the Labour party in Scotland should follow her own advice and resign before the so called, “daft youngsters” get the chance to punish her by voting her out of Holyrood in 2016.
May 2015: History made in Edinburgh…. but Labour hold onto one seat
Labour’s Ian Murray narrowly held on to Edinburgh South, where SNP candidate Neil Hay was caught up in a manufactured social media scandal about a perceived insult to elderly people that his colleagues said cost him many votes. This was a campaign conducted in the gutter by a Labour Party desperate to hold onto power, by any means, in South Edinburgh