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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Alexander to lead Scottish Labour
Wendy Alexander

Scottish Labour's new leader-elect Wendy Alexander has vowed to put the party on the road back to power.

The Paisley North MSP was confirmed as the sole nominee to succeed former first minister Jack McConnell.

However, Ms Alexander will not formally take up the post until a series of party meetings are held next month.

In the meantime, the former Holyrood minister will undertake a series of engagements across Scotland before putting forward new policy ideas.

Ms Alexander, who has pledged to reform the party following Labour's election defeat to the SNP in May, is now set to become the Scottish party's first female leader and its fourth since devolution in 1999.

She said her policy reforms would cover four broad areas: a competitive yet compassionate economy; consumer-focused, public services; empowering people and communities; and developing "Scottish solutions for Scottish aspirations".

Ms Alexander received 41 nominations to stand - almost a clean sweep of Labour's entire Scottish Parliament compliment of 46 MSPs.

We have accepted we lost in May and that didn't happen by accident
Wendy Alexander MSP
Scottish Labour leader-elect

A group of left-wing Labour MSPs, known as the Campaign for Socialism, failed to raise the six nominees needed to put forward a challenger.

Ms Alexander told a news conference in Stirling that the process of change had now begun.

"Sometimes the very hardest thing to do is admit you have to change," she said.

"Labour in Scotland have done this. We have accepted we lost in May and that didn't happen by accident."

Ms Alexander said Scotland was looking for politicians willing to roll up their sleeves, challenge bureaucracy and improve services.

"That's the road on which I will lead Scottish Labour and it is the road back to power," she said.

"We have the opportunity to build a bright future for Labour and in turn a better tomorrow for Scotland."

Ms Alexander is the sister of Westminster MP and International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Commentators give their verdict on Wendy Alexander



SEE ALSO
Alexander remains only candidate
19 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Labour was 'at fault' for defeat
17 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Left-wing ponders leadership bid
16 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Labour front bench at-a-glance
16 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Alexander to stand for leadership
15 Aug 07 |  Scotland
McConnell quits Labour leadership
15 Aug 07 |  Scotland
SNP pips Labour in Holyrood vote
04 May 07 |  Scotland

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