By strengthening the Scottish Parliament, we can strengthen Scottish politics

Two years, I set up Scottish Labour’s devolution commission because it was clear that while the majority of Scots want to stay part of the United Kingdom, they want a stronger Scottish Parliament.

With colleagues from Holyrood, Westminster, the European Parliament, local government, the trade unions and party members, I wanted to have a debate about where power should best lie to serve the people of Scotland.

So I am pleased to publish our plans to strengthen devolution today before putting them to our party conference on Friday.

The commission has worked hard to ensure that our proposals are consistent with Scotland remaining strong in the United Kingdom but also give us the flexibility to do things differently where we want to.

We have engaged widely with business, trade unions, academics and constitutional experts and believe this is the most comprehensive package of devolution while also allowing Scotland the security and certainty of the United Kingdom.

I believe it will make our parliament more accountable and more progressive. We also want to see power devolved from Holyrood down to local government and our communities.

Labour should be proud of our record on devolution. It was a Labour Government that brought about the Scottish Parliament 15 years ago and we initiated the Calman process which resulted in greater tax and borrowing powers for Holyrood through the Scotland Act.

With six months to go until Scotland decides on its future, our devolution proposals set out part of our positive alternative to the narrow politics of nationalism.

Labour has always been the party of change, and we will change Scotland for the better.

Johann Lamont
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party