JIM Murphy has dumped his widely-ridiculed attempt to reclaim the word "Yes" as a way of reconnecting with the thousands of Labour voters who abandoned his party in the referendum.


The Scottish Labour leader had been due to launch the party's showcase "Yes for Labour" campaign in Glasgow yesterday.

Labour activists registered more than two dozen websites, including yesforscottishlabour.scot, yesscottishlabour.com and yesforlabour.org, in support of the long-planned event.

However last night Murphy confirmed he had dropped the idea as too backward-looking.

The SNP claimed scrapping the campaign was a "deeply embarrassing gaffe" and that Labour "had descended into farce" under Murphy.

The Yes for Labour campaign was thrown into chaos two weeks ago when the Sunday Herald revealed the idea had been leaked, prompting widespread criticism of its crude pitch to Yes voters ahead of the general election.

Although the party downplayed the story, it then emerged there was a dedicated Yes for Labour section hidden on Scottish Labour's website.

This stated explicitly that "Yes for Labour is about listening to Labour people who voted yes and working with them to deliver the Scotland we all want to see."

It also said that by saying Yes for Labour people would be saying Yes for Change, Yes for Equality and Yes for Opportunity.

Within half an hour of the site being revealed on Twitter, Scottish Labour pulled it offline.

Yesterday's event at Tollcross was also downgraded to "an informal coffee morning" and given a new theme called Changing Scotland.

However the audience - 40 No voters and 40 Yes voters - pointed to its Yes origins.

Speaking ahead of the event, Murphy insisted Yes for Labour was "a working title", despite at least 25 websites registered around the name.

He said: "That was a working title for website designers and things like that.

"And when I started to look at it... I don't want to label people based on how they voted last year. It's not my approach to it."

When it was put to him that it was much more than a working title given the numerous websites involved, Murphy said: "Erm, once I, once I looked at it, I said, Let's not... this is about moving beyond the referendum.

"So Changing Scotland is the theme of it rather than the labels of the past.

"The short answer is that it's a working title to those folk who were doing some research on it. Once I got involved, my approach was to take it away from last year's disagreement."

SNP Depute Leader Stewart Hosie said: "Coming on the heels of Jim Murphy having to erase a video peddling false figures in an attempt to talk down Scotland's NHS, and airbrushing his support for Tory austerity cuts from his website, this is another deeply embarrassing gaffe.

"It seems to be that if anything can go wrong in the Labour Party in Scotland, it certainly has under Mr Murphy's inept leadership."

Murphy will this week make the second of three speeches on class and inequality at the annual gathering of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in Glasgow.

Rather than duck an "uncomfortable conversation" about class and its impact on life chances, he said politicians could no longer ignore it.

"When such a big determinant of your outcome is the history of your family tree, clearly things have to change. The problems are so deep for a minority of people in our country it is denying the obvious, it is denying the truth, to say that income and class don't matter."

He will also appeal to voters in social housing by promising to make the average tenant hit by the bedroom tax £3000 better off in the next parliament through reversing the benefit cut.