Ian Murray: From lone Labour MP to Scottish secretary

Ian Murray
Ian Murray has gone from Scotland's sole Labour representative to Sir Keir Starmer's cabinet [Reuters]

Ian Murray, who was twice Labour's only MP in Scotland, has been appointed as secretary of state for Scotland.

Mr Murray is one of 37 Labour MPs returned north of the border following a UK-wide landslide for Sir Keir Starmer's party.

One seat, in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire, is yet to be declared due to a recount.

Speaking to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Murray said that to go back to Westminster with 38 MPs was "well-beyond their wildest dreams".

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The Edinburgh South MP said he was hoping the new UK government would be able to work "very closely with the Scottish government".

"I hope they will work with us for the benefit of Scotland and the people here," Mr Murray said.

Aged just 33, he entered parliament as a Labour MP for Edinburgh South just as the Conservatives were sweeping into power in 2010.

He was left as Scotland's only Labour MP in 2015 after retaining his seat in the face of an SNP landslide. Scottish Labour lost 40 of its 41 seats in that general election.

In the 2017 election Mr Murray increased his majority as Scottish Labour increased its representation to seven.

He was again left as the party's sole MP north of the border in 2019. It was only in October 2023 that he gained a Scottish colleague - when Michael Shanks won the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

He twice served as shadow Scottish secretary, quitting the post in 2016 in protest over Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. He was reappointed by Keir Starmer in 2020.

Previously, he had served as a councillor between 2003 and 2010 for the Liberton and Gilmerton ward in Edinburgh and went on to win fans across the capital when he led the campaign to save Hearts Football Club from administration as the chairman of the supporters group.

Anas Sarwar and Ian Murray with new Labour MPS
Ian Murray celebrated Scottish Labour's election victory with party leader Anas Sarwar in Glasgow [Getty Images]

Mr Murray was born to a cooper father and shop worker mother in August 1976.

Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he went to Dumbryden primary school, then Wester Hailes Education Centre.

Mr Murray studied social policy and law at Edinburgh University and graduated with an honours degree at the age of 20.

He worked to fund his studies with a part-time job in a local fish and chip shop, where he then set up and ran a pizza delivery service.

After graduating in 1997, Mr Murray worked in financial services before setting up an internet television station.

He then started his own event management business running large festival events. He has also owned a small bar and hotel business, running several premises.