Category Archives: Press Releases

Dr. Richard Simpson MSP backs Ken Macintosh for Labour Leadership

Dr. Richard Simpson MSP for has backed Ken Macintosh to renew and refresh Scottish Labour’s relationship with local people in Mid Scotland and Fife saying that Macintosh will bring genuine change and help Scotland’s Labour Party reconnect with voters.

Dr. Simpson said:

“May’s election was a game changer for Scottish Labour. Our party suffered a disastrous defeat on a scale unseen since we delivered devolution for the Scottish people in 1999. But on a dismal night for Scottish Labour there was a chink of light. Ken Macintosh not only held his Eastwood seat, he increased his majority.

“We need to win back support from all sections of society. We need to build a progressive alliance. We need a new voice, one that people will warm to. Ken is all of those things and, crucially, he knows what it takes to win elections. That’s why I’m backing Ken Macintosh.

“Ken is a family man who understands the challenges facing people in Scotland. Ken will bring genuine change to the party and connect with a cross section of people in the country. From young people, to the squeezed middle, to the elderly, Ken knows how to build relationships and win support.

“Ken has already begun talking positively about the difference we can make to people’s lives; He speaks about what we are for, not simply what we are against. Ken is a voice of hope and optimism, a voice for Scotland’s future.”

Ken Macintosh said:

“I’m thrilled to have won the backing of Dr. Richard Simpson, I want to renew and refresh our party’s relationship with people in Scotland and the support of my parliamentary colleagues is crucial to achieving this.

“My wife Claire and I are bringing up our family in modern Scotland. We know that constitutional issues are not high on people’s list of priorities. People are more worried about their bills, whether their pay will be frozen or even if they will keep their jobs.

“These are the very issues that matter to me but Scotland’s Labour Party must demonstrate that we are listening and that we remain the party that stands up for hard working people.”


Commenting on an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report that warns introducing a minimum unit price of 45p – the level previously proposed by the SNP government – would transfer £1.4 billion from consumers to producers and retailers across Britain (equivalent to £140 million in Scotland), Scottish Labour’s Shadow public Health Minister, Dr Richard Simpson MSP, said:

“This powerful report from the highly-respected IFS blows the biggest hole yet in the flawed logic behind the SNP’s minimum unit pricing plans.

“Scottish Labour is absolutely determined to tackle Scotland’s drink problem, but we do not believe that minimum unit pricing is the answer as it will deliver a multi-million windfall for big supermarkets without providing a single extra penny for our NHS, it will not target problem drinks, could lead to significant cross border issues and big questions still remain over whether these plans will be struck down in the courts.

“We all share the ambition to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol, but it is if we are to seriously tackle the problem we need to come up with responses which recognise its complexity. The SNP are under the illusion that minimum unit pricing is some sort of magic silver bullet, but unfortunately no one measure is going to tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol. That is why Scottish Labour is has proposed a raft of measures across licensing, criminal justice, social work, health and education that we believe will help tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.

“It’s not too late for the SNP to drop their dogmatic approach, recognise that the issue and solutions are not as simple as they make out and develop a genuine consensus to tackle Scotland relationship with alcohol.”


 Dr Richard Simpson  MSP, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Health Minister and member of the Health committee said:


“This is a hard hitting report and given the unanimous cross party support for these measures I hope the SNP government will act quickly to implement our main recommendations. It was Scottish Labour who called for this report in the first place and over the past few months we have exposed the lack of inspectors currently employed by the Care Inspectorate, the lack of qualifications of those registered as managers and supervisors and the poor pay levels experienced by the workforce in the care industry. This report highlights action to be taken to address these issues. We are well aware there are budget implications but the elderly and the vulnerable deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and those caring for them should have the highest possible professional standards and should be properly rewarded for doing such a difficult job.”