The Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy committed an embarrassing gaffe this weekend when he wished the News of the World “Good luck” in their campaign for a Conservative government.
The Labour MP’s comments were made as he was interviewed on a BBC Radio Five Live phone in show broadcast on Saturday 27th March.
Mr Murphy had been asked by show host Stephen Nolan for his reaction to the news that the newspaper had decided to ditch Labour in favour of the Conservatives for the forthcoming general election campaign.
Mr Murphy replied:
“You’d obviously rather have a newspaper supporting you but that’s not to be – good luck to the News of the World in their campaign”
When asked by an incredulous sounding Mr Nolan “Good luck to them?”, Murphy responded:
“Well, good luck in them running a fair campaign of criticism”
The Labour MP went on to deplore the kind of negative campaigning that has so sullied American elections in recent years where personal insults and smears have replaced policy and vision.
The blunder is just the latest in a series of unfortunate statements from the Secretary of State who recently infuriated religious leaders in Scotland when he claimed that the Labour party was the natural ‘home’ for voters of faith.
The interview saw the Secretary of State struggle against some robust questioning and probing; a style that perhaps Mr Murphy may have been unused to.
Indeed the MP for East Renfrewshire seemed confused over the details behind his parties own pledges and appeared to contradict the official line from the chancellor when he insisted that some areas of spending would be protected for four years instead of the two years that had already been announced.
Murphy also confirmed that Labour would be targeting benefits if they win the next general election.
The full interview can be heard by clicking here and will be available until 3rd April.