Labour brings in ‘big beasts’ to beef up Better Together campaign in Scotland

Labour brings in ‘big beasts’ to beef up Better Together campaign in Scotland

John Reid and Jim Murphy in move to target male working class voters after complaints about party’s slow response.

Senior figures from the last Labour government have been drafted in by the anti-Scottish independence campaigns to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of male working class voters most likely to vote yes.

The decision to enrol “big beasts” including John Reid, the former defence secretary, Jim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary, and Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, follows complaints that Labour has been too slow to mount its campaign against independence.

The  jump in gear emerged as Labour, Better Together and Downing Street sources separately denied a report in the Daily Mail that Alistair Darling, the chairman of Better Together and former chancellor, had been sidelined because of concerns about his performance.

The three men have been drafted in by Better Together and Scottish Labour along with Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, and Frank Roy, the Labour MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, after a series of polls last month showed a shift in support towards independence, cutting the gap between yes and no votes.

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