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Last Updated: Friday, 28 March 2008, 13:09 GMT

Alexander says she's a perfect 10

Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander became leader in September last year

Wendy Alexander has given herself a perfect score in her performance as Scottish Labour leader.

She awarded herself a "10 out of 10", while saying it was time to move on from the donation scandal which hit her leadership campaign.

Ms Alexander was speaking during a BBC Scotland webcast at the Scottish Labour conference in Aviemore.

It is her first conference since the party lost power at Holyrood and she gained the leadership.

During the web chat, driven by questions from BBC viewers, listeners and online users, she was asked to score herself out of 10 for her performance since being elected leader unopposed in September last year.

"Rising all the time, I think is the answer," said Ms Alexander, adding: "Ten out of 10, 10 out of 10."

I was very clear it was a constitutional commission and a commission it is
Wendy Alexander
Scottish Labour leader

Ms Alexander has had a turbulent time since taking the reins of her party.

Soon after taking over it emerged that her leadership campaign received a 950 donation - illegal because it came from Jersey-based businessman Paul Green, who is not a UK voter.

Asked in the webcast if she was a crook, the Paisley North MSP replied: "I have said all along a mistake was made, 950 was accepted by one of my campaign team, it shouldn't have been - it was handed back.

"The Electoral Commission looked into it and I think it is time to move on."

Ms Alexander said she deeply regretted what happened, adding: "The truth is that every time anyone declares late or sends back an impermissible donation, as we did, then they are breaking the law, every political party has done it many, many, many times."

The Scottish Labour leader is in Aviemore for the three-day conference gathering.

Brown speech

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is due to deliver a keynote speech in which he is expected to urge the party to turn the attack upon the Scottish National Party.

The Nationalists took over the reins of government when they beat Labour by one seat at last May's Holyrood election.

Mr Brown will address delegates on Friday afternoon and he will say that only Labour values can equip Scotland to thrive in the globalised economy.

He will argue that policies being pursued by SNP ministers threaten prosperity.

In particular, he will claim that the Nationalist administration is set to inflict cuts in education which will damage Scotland's capacity for economic growth.

Gordon Brown
Ms Alexander said she was not a Gordon Brown puppet

During the webcast, Ms Alexander denied being Mr Brown's puppet, saying that the new look of Scottish devolution 10 years on should be a "commission", when the UK Government had described it as a "review".

The independent group, chaired by the academic Sir Kenneth Calman, was set up after MSPs voted to support it at Holyrood.

"I was very clear it was a constitutional commission and a commission it is," Ms Alexander insisted. "I made my view clear and I am happy it has prevailed."

She again outlined her opposition to an independence referendum, pointing out the Scottish Government did not currently have enough support to hold one.

And Ms Alexander also dismissed claims of arrogance against Labour politicians and said her party's fight back was under way.

She added: "Frankly, as I look across the other benches in the parliament, I don't think the arrogance is on our side.

"I think that what people are looking for are politicians who are willing to listen, I think you will see this week that conference is listening and learning."


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