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Change doesn’t end today - it begins today

Friends, I want to start off by paying the warmest tribute to Alistair Darling.

Because after the 2010 General Election he could have taken the easy way out. He could have decided to take a step back.

He didn’t because he cares about his country and he played one of the most important roles in keeping this country together.

Alistair, thank you. Thank you for what you did.

And I also want to thank every member of Team Labour for what they did.

I want to thank Johann Lamont for the brilliant job she has done, I want to thank Margaret Curran, I want to thank Anas Sarwar, I want to thank Jim Murphy, I want to thank Gordon Brown, Douglas Alexander, everyone person who played that role in this campaign, let us applaud them today, friends.

But there’s another set of people I want to thank even more than that. And that is you. Because this would have not happened without you.

Thank you for the street stalls, thank you for the phone banking, thank you for the leaflets, thank you for pounding the streets in rain and shine.

And friends, you will be able to tell your children and your grandchildren that you helped keep our country together, a historic achievement and let us acknowledge it today.

Now what was this a vote for? This was a vote for solidarity and social justice, this was a vote for our National Health Service. This was a vote for our welfare state. This was a vote for no because we know we are better together.

And I want to say something also today, as Alistair acknowledged and Johann did too.

To all of the people who voted Yes: this Labour Party is determined to show over the coming years that we can be the vehicle for your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations. For a better life for you, a better life for Scotland and a better life for the whole of the United Kingdom.

Now friends, whether people voted no or yes in this referendum, let us be absolutely clear: this was a vote for change.

Change doesn’t end today - it begins today. Because we know our country needs to change. We know our country needs to change in the way it is governed and we know our country needs to change in who it is governed for.

As Alistair said, we will deliver on stronger powers for a stronger Scottish parliament, a stronger Scotland. And I know that all party leaders will meet their commitments to deliver on that promise. And we will also meet the desire for change.

Across England, across Wales, across the whole of the United Kingdom, devolution is not just a good idea for Scotland and Wales - it is a good idea for England and indeed for Northern Ireland as it already is too.

And it is also the case friends, that we must meet the thirst for change in reforming the whole of our country and who it works for.

Because you know what I heard from people as I went round this campaign?

I heard people, yes talking about stronger powers for Scotland, but I also heard people saying, ‘How can my life get better?’ ‘How can my son or daughter get a job?’ ‘How can we deal with insecurity at work?’ ‘How can we build a better future for our children and grandchildren?’

We know those were the questions that people were asking, they were not just asking questions about the constitution and about the way our politics works, they were asking about whether our country works for them and they were telling us, and they are not just telling us this in Scotland, they are telling us this throughout our country, that our country only works for a tiny elite few at the top and this Labour Party knows that must change and we will change it.

Friends, the last few weeks have been about keeping our country together, the last few months, the two years of this campaign.

The next eight months are about how we change our country together.

And you know we need a party that can speak for the whole of the United Kingdom, for every part of the United Kingdom, for every set of people within the United Kingdom, there is a party that can do that, friends.

That is the Labour Party. That is our Party and this is our responsibility in the months ahead.

Let us be able to tell our children, to tell our grandchildren that we did not just keep our country together we changed our country together that is our mission that can be our achievement.

Thank you so much for what you did, now let’s go on and show the people of the whole of the United Kingdom how we intend to change our country. Thank you very much.

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