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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 March 2008, 17:58 GMT

Party chief gives farewell speech

Gordon Brown greets Lesley Quinn
Before his speech to conference, Gordon Brown praised Lesley Quinn

The outgoing general secretary of Scottish Labour has given a farewell speech to conference in which she said she would not miss the job.

Lesley Quinn said she had worked with great people in her nine years in the role, but it was now time to step down.

She recalled how she joined the Labour Party as a shorthand typist nearly 30 years ago and worked her way up to the position of general secretary.

A video tribute from Tony Blair was played at the Aviemore gathering.

The former prime minister described her as being "absolutely wonderful" and "phenomenal" and he thanked her for her work in the party.

Dressed in a white shirt and tie, Mr Blair said: "Lesley and I got to know each other really well over the years because of all the different campaigns we were involved in Scotland."

He added: "She was absolutely wonderful to work with. She was the archetypal party loyalist, she was dedicated, committed to the cause, worked very hard, was phenomenal to be with and most of all a decent human being."

Lesley Quinn
The Labour Party and the Labour movement in Scotland, through listening to the electorate and hard work, will reconnect and will win back
Lesley Quinn

Scottish Secretary Des Browne also paid tribute to Ms Quinn - who has worked for the Labour Party for 27 years.

Mr Browne, also the defence secretary, described her as "a truly remarkable woman who has done a remarkable job for our party".

In her speech to the conference, Ms Quinn told delegates she "did not believe the obituaries that had been written for the party" following last May's election defeat to the SNP.

She said: "I've seen it all before during the Thatcher years. The Labour Party and the Labour movement in Scotland, through listening to the electorate and hard work, will reconnect and will win back.

"And I intend to continue campaigning with you to work towards that end."

Ms Quinn added that she would miss the people she had met and worked with, but not the job.

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