by Alastair Brian
Sadie Docherty, is Glasgow’s new Lord Provost. A Labour Councillor in Linn ward since 2007, she is only the 4th woman to hold the post.
She said: ‘I am thrilled to be elected as Lord Provost. It’s a great honour – especially at a time when Glasgow is flourishing. In two years’ time, the city will host the Commonwealth Games. They represent a huge opportunity for Glasgow, especially in terms of the social and economic benefits and lasting legacy they will leave for the people of this city. This is the biggest event the city is ever likely to stage and I’m really looking forward to my role of showcasing Glasgow to the world.’
She also underlined her commitment to open debate and stressed she was looking forward to working with all her fellow councillors to tackle the welfare issues prevalent in Glasgow. ‘Let Glasgow Flourish,’ she said in closing, voicing the city’s motto. Her deputy is Gerry Leonard, Councillor in North East Ward since 1999.
Gordon Mathieson, representing Anderston/City, was re-elected Leader of the Council, a position he has held since 2010 when Stephen Purcell demitted office. Breaking with tradition, the opposition did not nominate a candidate for Lord Provost or Leader of the Council. SNP group leader Graeme Hendry said: ‘ We recognise the Labour majority, and as such their authority to appoint these posts.’
In response, Councillor Mathieson thanked the SNP for their position and promised that Labour would respect the mandate of the opposition and carry their majority fairly. He said: ‘Labour will deliver on every one of the promises in our manifesto.’
He also paid generous tribute to former opposition leader Allison Hunter, noting that in opposition: ‘she was never an enemy and was someone we all had great respect for.’ Councillor Archie Graham, who has represented Langside since 1995, was elected Deputy Leader.
The following Bailies were appointed: Labour Party – Philip Braat, Elizabeth Cameron, Aileen Colleran, Jonathan Findlay, Elaine McDougall, Hanif Raja, Mohammed Razaq, Anne Simpson, Sohan Singh, Allan Stewart, Fariha Thomas. SNP – Josephine Docherty, Martin Docherty, Iris Gibson, Phil Green, John McLaughlin. Green Party – Nina Baker. Liberal Democrats – Margot Clark.
Johann Lamont, the new Scottish Labour Party Leader wasted no time in appointing her shadow cabinet.
Meeting for the first time in this week leading to Christmas, the Shadow Cabinet sorted out their portfolios.
A mix of experienced former ministers and newer voices ‘to speak on the important issue for Scotland,’ the Leader said: ‘Our job will not just be to hold the Scottish Government to account, but to show our party’s ambition again. Together we must set out and convince the people of Scotland of Labour’s vision for our country. Ours is a positive vision for a prosperous Scotland that can pay its own way, a wealth-creating Scotland that uses its wealth to build a fairer country, a Scotland determined that not one person’s talent is wasted, a Scotland that challenges all Scots to be all that they can be, and which creates the conditions in which we can reach our aspirations.’
Flanked by her deputy, Anas Sarwar and Margaret Curran, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, the Pollok MSP’s team is:
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth – Ken Macintosh
Shadow Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism – Rhoda Grant
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy – Jackie Baillie
Shadow Minister for Public Health – Richard Simpson
Shadow Minister for Social Justice – Drew Smith
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning – Hugh Henry
Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – Neil Bibby
Shadow Minister for Learning and Skills – Neil Findlay
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, External Affairs and the Commonwealth Games – Patricia Ferguson
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment – Richard Baker
Shadow Minister for Housing and Transport – Elaine Murray
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Lewis Macdonald
Shadow Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs – Jenny Marra
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Planning – Sarah Boyack
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment – Claire Baker
Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change – Claudia Beamish
Shadow Minister for Youth Employment (attending shadow cabinet and working with education and finance teams) – Kezia Dugdale
Scottish Labour Parliamentary Business Manager – Paul Martin
Chief Whip – James Kelly
Shadow Whip – John Pentland
In addition, Johann Lamont has asked Tom Harris MP to review how Scottish Labour uses technology to campaign. He will report to the deputy leader Anas Sarwar. Mr Harris will also work with Shadow Cabinet Secretary Richard Baker to advise on capital investment and infrastructure.
In making her final announcements to complete her team Johann Lamont said: ‘Scottish Labour has an excellent set of newly-elected MSPs and I am very pleased to have appointed eight of them to front bench roles. Together, over the coming months, we will be working hard to change Scottish Labour.’
In the new year she intends to make further shadow cabinet appointments from beyond the world of politics.
MSP Johann Lamont is the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, She takes over from Iain Gray and has a wider remit.
She was elected from three tiers of Labour Party voters by a substantial majority of 51.77% over MSP Ken Macintosh who polled 40.28% and Westminster MP Tom Harris who polled 7.95%.
Her deputy is Anas Sarwar Westminster MP. He won his post by 51.10% against MP Ian Davidson who polled 33.28% and MSP Lewis Macdonald who polled 15.62%.
The results of the leadership campaigns were announced on Saturday 17 December in Edinburgh.
Both the new leader and her deputy are Glasgow based. Representing Pollok, former teacher Johann was brought up in Anderston of Gaelic speaking parents from Tiree. Former dentist Anas, whose seat is Glasgow Central, is a Southsider whose father was the first Muslim MP at Westminster.
Said Johann: ‘While I am delighted and honoured to be elected leader of Scottish Labour Party, I believe the real work starts now. In May, we fell short of people’s expectations and they turned away from us, unable to find a reason to give us their support. If we are to earn the right to serve the country, our challenge is to listen, to learn lessons and to demonstrate that we can change. I am confident that once again people will recognise that Scottish Labour is the party which understands their lives, can deliver their hopes and will stand up for Scotland.’
Added Anas: ‘It is a tremendous honour and privilege to have been elected as the new deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party. I want to thank members from across the movement for their fantastic support. Scottish Labour will always put the interests of the people of Scotland first and work to build a more inclusive, equal and prosperous country: an ambitious Scotland, within a successful United Kingdom, not just talking about change, but leading it. I will work resolutely behind our new leader to make sure that the changes that are needed happen. This process of renewal is for one key purpose: to give the people of Scotland a Labour Party that they can trust, a Labour Party they can believe in, and a Labour Party that can win.’
Senior Labour Party figures congratulated the new leader.
Ed Miliband MP, leader of the Labour Party, said: Many congratulations to Johann, the new and the first Scottish Labour leader. It was right to create this powerful new position which carries with it the weight and authority of the whole party in Scotland. Scottish Labour needed to make this radical change to reflect the reality of the devolution that Labour delivered. Johann’s mission is to win back the trust of Scots and challenge the SNP – a party that is cutting capital spending and public sector jobs faster even than George Osborne. As the leader of the whole Scottish party, she will command the support of all the Scottish Labour Parliamentarians, and I look forward to working with her and Anas as colleagues and friends.’
Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, said: ‘I warmly congratulate Johann and Anas, who both ran excellent campaigns. This election has been fought in a comradely and good-natured fashion, not least because all the candidates know we have to change and change radically, but it has also invigorated our local parties and many of our supporters. I and the 41 Scottish Labour MPs who hold the UK government to account day in, day out, look forward to working with our new leader to make sure that Scottish Labour is back on the park doing what the people of our country expect: speaking out and doing what is right for Scotland.’
For more information on the leadership election and process see: http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/leadership
Partick was awash with redcoats on Thursday 7 April , as Labour Party supporters were out in force to support Pauline McNeill who aims to continue to serve Glasgow Kelvin constituency. While Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party wore a warm, navy woollen coat, Pauline and several members of her team, were wearing bright red raincoats. With the threat of rain, the coats gave sensible protection as well as high visibility.
Said Pauline: ‘It is good to have someone like Harriet Harman with us today. People recognise these leaders. I had David Miliband here recently and it was lovely seeing people’s faces when they opened their doors.’ The main challenge she sees in the constituency – which has been extended to include homes around St George’s Cross – is dealing with people’s concerns about the rise in the cost of living. ‘I’m confident we as a Party can grow the economy to benefit the whole country,’ said Pauline. She added: ‘Locally, the big challenge is the lack of social housing and the quality of life in the West End.’
Councillor Gordon Matheson has been elected as the new Leader of Glasgow City Council.
The appointment was made at the Council’s Labour group on Monday 10 May, 2010.
Councillor Archie Graham was elected as Deputy Leader.
Councillor Matheson, 43, said: ‘I am delighted and humbled to have been elected as the Leader of Glasgow City Council.
‘The priorities of the administration remain as education and early years, skills and the economy, and targeted support for the vulnerable.
‘This is a challenging and exciting time for Glasgow. There are unquestionably difficult economic times ahead but, together, we will work through this period and come out stronger.
‘The Labour administration is entirely united behind delivering what is best for the people of Glasgow.’
Councillor Matheson was first elected to Glasgow City Council in 1999, and is a councillor in Ward 10 Anderston/City.
He has previously been City Treasurer and an Executive Member for Education.
A graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, his professional background is in both economic and personnel development. He also has experience as a political lobbyist within the charitable sector. Councillor Matheson has been a board member of a variety of organisations, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Court of Strathclyde University.
Now Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, Langside Councillor Archie Graham is 53 and went to university at the age of 32 after 15 years in the construction industry. He holds a degree and MSc (Distinction) in Social Sciences. Since being elected to Glasgow City Council in 1995, he has been Executive Member for Social Care and the Commonwealth Games as well as Vice Convener for Equalities and for Cultural and Leisure Services. He was also the Council’s spokesperson on asylum issues. A marathon man, he has completed five full marathons and many half marathons and 10ks run for charity. He is also development officer for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.