JIM Murphy will today pledge to loosen Scottish Labour's ties with the UK party and raise £1 million to take on the SNP if he becomes leader next month.

The frontrunner in the race to replace Johann Lamont will outline plans to wrest greater control over campaigning, policy, fundraising and staffing from UK Labour. The East Renfrewshire MP will also set an ambitious target to raise a £1m warchest to fight next May's Westminster election.

Former leader Johann Lamont quit last month accusing the UK party of treating Scottish Labour as a "branch office" after general secretary Ian Price was fired without her being consulted.

Mr Murphy will tell activists in his Thornliebank constituency today that, if elected, he will hire all party staff, including the general secretary.

He has also announced that he will take control of a levy paid by Scottish Labour councillors into UK party coffers. The two per cent deduction from their salaries raises £155,000 but councillors have long questioned whether they have been getting value for money from the UK party.

Mr Murphy argued the cash should go direct to Scottish Labour in a letter to UK general secretary Iain McNicol yesterday.

He is expected to today unveil plans for a five-person commission, including the leaders of Glasgow and Aberdeen city councils and North Lanarkshire Council, plus two supporters of his leadership rivals, to suggest ways of spending the money.

The former Scottish Secretary will reveal plans to raise the £1m through increased donations from unions, businesses and members, and by attracting new members to the party.

All Labour's existing Holyrood and Westminster seats, and target constituencies, would be guaranteed £5000 for campaigning, he will say, and paid organisers would be recruited in each Scottish parliament region to support local parties.

He will say: "I want the Scottish Labour Party, under my leadership, to be driving the change that Scotland needs. But before we can get behind the wheel, our party needs to reform itself. Before we can change Scotland we need to transform the Scottish Labour Party."

Scottish Labour values its links to the UK party but should do things "our own way", he is expected to say.

He will add: "People should be in no doubt: if I am elected leader, decisions about policy and how the Scottish Labour Party is run will be taken in Scotland, nowhere else. We need to show to people we are a party that puts Scotland first."

Mr Murphy will also call for a big culture shift among grassroots members to turn the party into "an all-year-round campaigning organisation". He will say: "We should be front and centre of local campaigns to improve our communities, not just asking for votes. We owe it to the people in Scotland."

Mr Murphy and leadership rival MSP Sarah Boyack recommended a series of party reforms in the wake of Labour's Holyrood defeat to the SNP in 2011.

The Scottish Labour leader took charge of the entire Scots party, rather than just the group of MSPs at Holyrood. However, the UK party's administrative control over Scottish Labour remained largely intact.

Mr Murphy's plan does not address the issue of selecting Westminster candidates, a process which many in Scottish Labour believe should also be transferred north of the Border.

Meanwhile, leadership rival Neil Findlay MSP said: "The next leader of the Labour Party in Scotland will have unprecedented powers over the structures and procedures of the party.

"If I am elected as leader of the Scottish Labour Party I make this promise to all members of the Labour Party and affiliates, including trade unions, that I will listen and work with them as together we work to make Scottish Labour bigger, better and more autonomous.

"A Labour Party has to be collective and co-operative in nature - and under a Neil Findlay leadership , that's what the Scottish Labour Party will be."