JOHANN Lamont's woes as Scottish Labour leader deepened yesterday with the launch of a new internal pressure group that wants the party to be far more radical than she does.

Around 80 party activists attended the inaugural meeting of Labour for Scotland at Strathclyde University, including ex-MSPs Frank McAveety and Pauline McNeill, Unison Scottish organiser Dave Watson and STUC deputy secretary Dave Moxham.

Although not present, Labour MSPs Michael McMahon and Cara Hilton sent their support.

Formed in the aftermath of the referendum, the group aims to stimulate debate within the party's grass roots, and wants a more radical approach to devolution and more autonomy to develop policies tailored to Scotland.

Among the policy areas discussed yesterday were greater public ownership of services and assets, local taxation, childcare and a living wage.

Co-founder Jamie Kerr, chair of Labour's Barrhead branch, said the three-hour meeting had been extremely positive and the group had decided to meet MSPs sympathetic to its aims.

Referring to the Smith Commission on more powers for Holyrood, to which Scottish Labour submitted the least adventurous proposal, he said: "The view was that we had to be radical.

"There was disappointment expressed about the plans that had been put forward by the party for further devolution and the consensus among almost everyone was that we needed a really radical offering on devolution."

Despite the group's very existence implying frustration with the state of the party under Lamont, Kerr said there had been "very little if any criticism of the leadership".

Labour for Scotland has echoes of the 1980s group Scottish Labour Action, which fought for devolution and had Jack McConnell and Wendy Alexander among its founder members.

Its first statement, revealed last week by the Sunday Herald, called on Labour to "assert Scotland's right to self-determination", and backed devolution of welfare, broadcasting, all income tax and substantial economic levers, plus a new name - the Independent Labour Party.

Kerr said that was a starting point for discussion, rather than set in stone.

Glasgow City councillor Jonathan Findlay, who chaired the meeting, said much of Labour's core support had become "disillusioned and impatient for change", while the memberships of the party's political opponents had grown "alarmingly" in the wake of the referendum.

He said: "As a party, we recommended to our traditional supporters that they should vote No.

"However, large numbers of these same supporters actually voted Yes.

"If they are not listening to us, perhaps we should be listening more to them."

McNeill, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin from 1999 to 2011, said: "Everyone acknowledges we lost a large chunk of the Labour vote to Yes, and that Labour voters are trying to tell us something."

She said the referendum was part of a broader political change since the 2008 crash.

"The banks, the energy companies, the markets, the big institutions all still have power in our society. I believe Labour voters want some change around that."

Watson, a former chair of Scottish Labour, said the party had made a "fundamental mistake" in aligning with the Tories in Better Together.

However, he said he fully supported Lamont and the idea of a new party name was "mince".

Asked about the launch by the Sunday Herald while at an anti-poverty march yesterday, Lamont denied the group was an implicit criticism of her leadership, and said she wanted to hear what it had to say.

"I think what the party wants to do is look at the significance of the decision made on September 18 and at how organisationally and politically we make sure we're responding to the desire of people in Scotland for change."