Anas Sarwar launches bid to become Scottish Labour leader
Anas Sarwar has launched his bid to become the next leader of Scottish Labour, which he said will focus on how to rebuild the party and country.
The 37-year-old Glasgow MSP called for the next Scottish Parliament to be one focused on recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, prioritising jobs and the NHS.
So far, 66 Scottish Labour councillors have signed a letter backing him in the leadership contest.
Sarwar has received the required number of parliamentary nominations, with the deadline closing at noon on Tuesday.
He faces competition from Monica Lennon, who has also announced her intention to succeed Richard Leonard, following his resignation on Thursday.
Sarwar said: "More than ever, our country needs political leadership that will bring people together.
"The next parliament must be a COVID recovery parliament that prioritises people’s jobs and our NHS, so that we never again have to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.
"Our opponents want to take us back to old divisive politics, which is why we need to rebuild Scottish Labour and then work to rebuild Scotland.
"Our local councils will be at the forefront of that recovery, but they have been starved of funding for years by the SNP. It’s time for a fair deal for local authorities, and I’m delighted to have the support of so many Labour councillors who work hard every day for their communities.
"I welcome the opportunity to put my vision to members and look forward to a friendly and positive campaign that demonstrates the very best of our party."