Keir Starmer’s administration will be the “first private sector government in Labour’s history,” a former leader of the Scottish party has said.

In an interview with Politico, Jim Murphy said there was “real synergy” between Labour and industry.

He said his role as managing director of lobbying firm Arden Strategies was to “triage the partnership.”

The comments could prove controversial with the unions and the left of the party.

READ MORE: Business booms for Jim Murphy's lobbying firm

Mr Murphy established Arden Strategies shortly after leading Scottish Labour to electoral disaster.

His brief time in charge saw the party lose 40 seats at the 2015 general election, including his own East Renfrewshire constituency.

Despite initially vowing to stay on after the massacre at the ballot box he bowed to the inevitable and quit, leaving just seven months after taking on the post.

Earlier this year, The Herald revealed that business was booming for the ex-minister, with assets doubling in the course of a year.

The former MP's firm — which established a Labour directorate earlier this year — promises UK-based and global corporate clients "unrivalled insights into Labour policies, priorities, and personalities."

The surge in business comes as the firm continues to recruit high profile Labour figures.

Former Holyrood presiding officer, Ken Macintosh, ex-Better Together strategist Blair McDougall and former transport minister Tom Harris are all part of Mr Murphy’s team.

In the interview with Politico, Mr Murphy says he reckons the firm is now Labour’s largest commercial sponsor.

“We sponsored the first Business Conference and we’ll sponsor it again next year,” he said “We are taking the big lounge at Labour conference. And we’ve said we will sponsor one constituency dinner a week until the election.”

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He said the reason for the uptick in business were two-fold.

“One is objectively awful, and one is subjectively good. The awful one is the geopolitics of the fallout of the Ukraine war … and the good one is Labour’s lead in the opinion polls.”

Mr Murphy, who served as a minister in the Foreign Office during Tony Blair’s time in No 10, said he had picked up several high-profile campaigns raising awareness of the various crises stemming from the invasion of Ukraine.

But with Sir Keir looking almost certain to form the next government, and there being few public affairs firms run by ex-Labour ministers, businesses have been keen to seek his advice.

“I think Labour is better at engaging with business than business is at engaging with Labour,” he said.

“That’s because most business leaders have never had to engage with Labour in a strategic sense. In a tactical, superficial sense they have, but when I looked last year, only three FTSE companies had the same chief exec as when Labour was last in power.”

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He said that too many businesses treat Sir Keir’s Labour party as “either a Blair tribute act or a Corbyn burial society when it’s neither.”

The Herald: Jim Murphy pictured in the Enchanted Forest nursery in Greenock in May 2015.

Mr Murphy said a Starmer government would be “philosophically and culturally completely different” to New Labour, given Britain’s economic situation and the state of public services.

“There are some brilliant [business] leaders of course, [but]when they engage with Labour they continue to bring problems.”

He said the party doesn’t need “someone else adding to the list of challenges and problems” but “workable, ambitious, radical, manifesto-ready, implementable ideas.”

Politico reports that Mr Murphy and his team have “frequent chats with the party’s current top team.”

He described his role as being to “triage that partnership” between the party and industry.

He adds: “There’s no more important partnership than the partnership with the private sector. I think that openness with private sector will mean we will regard a Keir Starmer government after five years as the first private sector government in Labour’s history.”