Anas Sarwar declares Scottish Labour leadership bid

Scottish Labour MSP Anas Sarwar is running to be the party’s leader.

The former deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party said he is standing to “unite the party.”

“Labour is revitalised in Scotland and I am ready to unite our party and lead us back to power,” he said.

Sarwar’s decision follows the shock resignation of Kezia Dugdale last week.

Dugdale quit after two years in the job saying it was time for her to “pass on the baton” to a new leader with “fresh energy, drive and a new mandate”.

Sarwar has previously served as a Glasgow MP from 2010 to 2015 before being elected to Holyrood in 2016.

Speaking as he launched his bid he said his priority was pulling the party together “to elect Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.”

He said: “The people of Scotland do not need a Labour Party that is fighting itself. They need a united Labour Party in Holyrood that is fighting the SNP and ready to form Scotland’s next government.

“And they need a united Labour Party across the UK working together to elect Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.”

Anas Sarwar’s opponent, Richard Leonard MSP, launched his bid earlier this week with a similar call for party unity.

Leonard, who was first elected to Holyrood last May, is seen as primarily being backed by elements of the Scottish Labour Party supportive of UK leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The party’s Scottish executive committee will meet this Saturday to set out a timetable for the leadership election.

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