JIM Murphy has confirmed he will stand in the General Election in his East Renfrewshire constituency.

The Scottish Labour leader told members of his local party of his decision following weeks of speculation about his plans.

A source close to Mr Murphy, who first took the former Eastwood seat against the odds in 1997, said he wanted to "do his bit" to maximise the number of Labour MPs in Scotland.

"Jim wants to contribute to ensuring we keep the Tories out," the source said.

Mr Murphy has come under pressure from the SNP to clarify his position after promising to announce his plans at the start of this year.

There was speculation he would step down from the seat to concentrate on leading Scottish Labour and preparing for next year's Holyrood election.

Mr Murphy has a large personal vote in the constituency, which could prove vital with his party trailing the Nationalists by 20 points or more in the opinion polls and facing heavy losses across the country.

He is now expected to contest a Holyrood seat at the next Scottish election.

Mr Murphy said: "As I have said many times before, I am the Labour candidate for East Renfrewshire against the Tories in May and Labour's candidate for First Minister in 2016. We have had a really good response on the doorsteps in recent weeks.

"We need to do everything we can to stop the Tories being the largest party. I want to contribute to making sure the Tories are kept out of East Renfrewshire and Downing Street.

"The choice facing voters in East Renfrewshire is much the same as the one facing the rest of Scotland - it's between Labour and the Tories. Any seat the SNP take makes it more likely the Tories are the largest party and David Cameron returns to power by the back door."


The former Scottish Secretary had a majority of 10,420 at the last election in 2010.

However, his party is facing near wipe-out on May 7 unless they can claw back the SNP's commanding lead in the opinion polls.

Eastwood would be among around 35 losses to the SNP if the Nationalists' 20 point advantage is repeated across the country.

SNP candidate for East Renfrewshire Kirsten Oswald said: "Jim Murphy has a lot of explaining to do to the people of East Renfrewshire.

"With less than 70 days to go to the general election he has left this decision up to the wire - his dithering is a sign of weakness.

"When elected as leader he made it clear he was 'not attracted' to the idea of being an MP and an MSP at the same time so would he intend only serving the people of East Renfrewshire for a year at Westminster if he gets elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016?

"People in East Renfrewshire deserve an MP who'll always put them first rather than one who views our area as an afterthought in his political games.

The Scottish Conservative candidate, David Montgomery, said: ‎"The voters in East Renfrewshire deserve better than an MP who has already got one foot out of the door.

"We also know that, if elected, Mr Murphy won't be focussed on representing the local interest of people here at Westminster.

"My pledge to voters is to be their full time MP, putting their local interests first."