POLITICS
30/10/2015 11:21 GMT | Updated 30/10/2015 11:59 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn Says Scottish Labour Are The Socialist Alternative To The SNP

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Saturday October 17File photo dated 29/9/2015 of Jeremy Corbyn who has signalled his determination to keep fighting the renewal of Trident by becoming a vice-president of CND.

Jeremy Corbyn has tried to position Scottish Labour as the "socialist" alternative to the Scottish National Party.

Speaking at the party's Scottish conference on Friday afternoon, the Labour leader said Nicola Sturgeon's SNP government in Edinburgh was responsible for tens of thousands of job losses.

"Friends, if you want socialist change, if you want a left wing alternative, you have to vote for it," he said.

"If you’re satisfied with rising inequality, rising child poverty and widening health inequalities – then Labour is not for you.

"If you’re satisfied that nearly a million people in Scotland are in fuel poverty or that half of all housing in Scotland falls short of official quality standards, then Labour isn’t for you.

"But if you’re not content, if you won’t walk by on the other side. Then vote for a party next May that is a democratic socialist party in both our words and our deeds."

Quoting Keir Hardie, the first ever Labour MP, Corbyn said Scottish Labour should embrace the "sunshine of socialism".

Labour has a mountain to climb ahead of the Scottish parliament elections next year. In May's general election the party lost all but one of its Westminster seat and has remained way behind in the polls.

SEE ALSO: Scottish Labour Make A Massive Campaign Cock-Up

In his speech, Corbyn said the general election result showed it was not just in Scotland that Labour needed to change. "It was people the length and breadth of Britain," he said.

"We had become too distant, too remote and – whether it was true or not – we were perceived to be a party that could no longer represent the whole of Britain.

"It is my mission, it is our mission, to turn that around. That means engaging with thousands of people who have never voted before, and giving them a reason to turn out to support us."

He added: "The stakes are high. When we vote for a Government – as we are seeing with these Tories – their decisions have an impact on the lives and life chances of an entire generation. That’s true for Scotland and it’s true for Britain."

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale had an awkward moment on BBC Question Time last night, when her passionate speech about the party was met by silence from the audience.