Anas Sarwar fails in bid to become Scottish Labour leader

Anas Sarwar

Anas Sarwar has failed in his bid to become the Labour Party leader in Scotland.

Richard Leonard was announced as the new leader on Saturday gaining 12,469 votes to Sarwar’s 9,516.

The Central Scotland MSP is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn and was considered the most left-wing politician in the running. The 55-year-old has only served as an MSP for just over one year.

Voting in the leadership contest between Leonard and Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar was sparked by the resignation of Kezia Dugdale in August.

Commenting on the result, Sarwar said: “I congratulate Richard on his victory. He has my full and unwavering support and I look forward to campaigning with him to return a Scottish Labour government.

“Our party will now unite around our new leader because we all share the same burning desire to elect a Scottish Labour government that works for the many, not the few.”

Richard Leonard (l)

He continued: “I am immensely proud of my positive campaign, which put froward new, radical, bold policy ideas, and always remembered who our real opponents are: the SNP and the Tories.

“I would like to thank the thousands of members and trade unionists who voted for me, and the hundreds who volunteered to help the campaign.

“I have a deep sense of pride about what we have achieved. I’m sorry I couldn’t do it for you, but I look forward to campaigning with you in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Mr Leonard on being elected, and Mr Sarwar on his energetic campaign.

He said: “After being written off time and again, the general election showed that our party is capturing the mood both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.

“There is much to do to continue our party’s revival in Scotland and many who still need to be persuaded to put their trust in the Labour Party.

“But Richard’s campaign offered a challenge to the rigged system that has benefited a wealthy elite and showed how he will lead Scottish Labour to transform society.”

He added: “This can be a turning point in Scottish politics and our party will now come together, united to challenge Tory and SNP austerity that has held Scotland back.

“I am confident that under Richard’s leadership, Labour will once again be a real force for change in Scotland. I look forward to campaigning with him in Scotland next week as we build a movement that will help our party win in Holyrood and Westminster, to transform our country for the many not the few.”

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