Scottish Labour leadership candidates pledge to oppose independence

Written by Jenni Davidson on 18 September 2017 in News

Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard have both launched their campaigns to lead Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour - Image credit: Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour leadership contenders Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard have both pledged to keep Scotland in the UK as they launch their campaigns to lead the party.

Anas Sarwar today promised that voters will “never be in doubt” about Scottish Labour’s support for Scotland's place in the UK if he is elected as leader.

Sarwar, who led the party’s pro-union ‘United With Labour’ campaign admitted that Labour lost voters who questioned the party’s commitment to Scotland’s place in the UK.

He said: “The threat of a second independence referendum has been lifted after voters sent a clear message to Nicola Sturgeon in the recent general election, allowing the Scottish Parliament to finally debate issues such as education, the NHS and fairer taxation.

“That is what I will relentlessly focus on during the course of this leadership campaign.

“But as a party we must accept that some voters turned away from us because they didn’t trust us to protect Scotland’s place in the UK.

“That’s why, under my leadership, voters will know that our support for Scotland's place in the UK will never be in doubt.”

Meanwhile, Richard Leonard pledged that “no ground would be ceded to nationalism” under his leadership.

He said: “History shows that it has always been Labour in power, backed and supported by our wider movement that has transformed Scotland before.

“And that’s why the only coalition I want to see is the one between the Labour Party and the trades union movement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make it clear, there will be no ground ceded to nationalism at the expense of progressive socialism under my leadership.

“No coalition, pacts, or deals with the SNP. And no second independence referendum.”

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