Anas Sarwar enters race for Scottish Labour leadership

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 4 September 2017 in News

Anas Sarwar outlines vision for a “united Labour Party in Holyrood that is fighting the SNP and ready to form Scotland’s next government”

Anas Sarwar - image credit: Scottish Parliament

Anas Sarwar has announced he is running for the Scottish Labour leadership.

Entering the campaign, the party’s former deputy leader outlined his vision of a “united Labour Party in Holyrood that is fighting the SNP and ready to form Scotland’s next government”.

Sarwar, currently the Scottish Labour health spokesperson, has become the second MSP to enter the race to succeed Kezia Dugdale, after Richard Leonard announced his candidacy yesterday.


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Sarwar was an MP between 2010-15, serving as shadow minister for international development for a year in 2014. He also acted as interim leader following Johann Lamont’s resigned as leader in 2014.

Sarwar said: “This is an election that nobody wanted or expected, and I would once again like to pay tribute to Kezia Dugdale for her dedicated service.

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

“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.

“I am delighted that Pauline McNeill and Martin Whitfield have agreed to co-chair my campaign and I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have urged me to stand.

“Over the coming weeks I will set out my positive vision for Scotland’s future, rooted firmly in Labour’s values.”

The campaign will be co-chaired by Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill and East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield.

McNeill said: “Anas has the experience and energy to take on the challenge to transform us from being an opposition party to being the next Scottish Government.

“I know he can unite our party behind our common aims and socialist values by addressing the deepening inequalities that prevail across the country.

“We will run a positive and constructive campaign and we will focus on the battle of ideas and issues our party needs to be at the vanguard of.”

The Executive Committee of the Scottish Labour Party will meet on Saturday 9 September to agree the timetable and process for a leadership election.

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