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Donald Dewar Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Jack McConnell: Campaign statement
Jack McConnell
The finance minister has launched his mini manifesto
Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jack McConnell has put social justice, equality and partnership at the heart of his campaign.

Announcing his candidacy on 19 October, Mr McConnell said the death of late leader and First Minister Donald Dewar had created a void in Scottish politics.

He said that while he could never hope to replace Mr Dewar, he would seek to lead Labour and the parliament and ensure they stood as a fitting legacy to the man dubbed the father of the Scottish Parliament.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell: "This is the election no-one wanted"
In a statement released to the media, he said: "This is the election no-one wanted. Donald Dewar is irreplaceable. The new first minister cannot fill his shoes.

"But we now have the responsibility for ensuring the Scottish Parliament matures into a lasting testament to the finest first minister this nation could have hoped for.

"It is important not only that we have an open, transparent contest, but also that the party is given real alternatives in leadership, campaigning and policy development."

He told Labour MSPs his "key commitments" would be:

  • Retaining social justice as the number one priority and purpose

  • Leading withour fear of favour in an open and democratic style

  • Putting equality at the centre of all matters

  • Building a partnership with the party to win elections

  • Working with Labour councillors to improve local services

    Keeping the parties of opposition "where they belong - in opposition".

    Mr McConnell also explained his reasons for deciding to stand as the MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw in the Scottish parliamentary elections.

    He said: "We all stood in those elections to change Scotland. To help build a more confident nation, with pride in our values, high aspirations for all our children and a government based on justice for all.

    "We wanted many things; higher educational standards in every community, better health for every Scot, a dynamic economy to deliver jobs that will last and a relentless drive to combat poverty.

    "We have to fight for the Scotland we all want. And we have to fight for all of Scotland - rural as well as urban.

    "I stand in this election to lead Scottish Labour and Scotland's parliament into a new age. To deliver our social justice priorities, to build a confident and respected democracy and to win the next election.

    "This is a vital election for Scotland and for Scottish Labour.

    "I want the debate over the next 48 hours to be based on politics not personalities, on the future of our country, not the procedures of the Labour Party. It is time to choose."

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    Jack McConnell, leadership candidate
    "I believe in a parliament that delivers social justice"
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    A man's a man
    An audio tribute to Donald Dewar
    AUDIO/VIDEO  real 14k
    See also:

    19 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
    19 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
    18 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
    13 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
    13 Oct 00 | Donald Dewar
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