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by Kirsteen Paterson
09 October 2023
Anas Sarwar tells Labour conference: 'Labour can now beat the SNP across Scotland'

Anas Sarwar MSP

Anas Sarwar tells Labour conference: 'Labour can now beat the SNP across Scotland'

"Labour can now beat the SNP across Scotland," Anas Sarwar has said.

In a speech to the Labour party conference in Liverpool, Sarwar said his side's win in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election means "no SNP MP can sit safely".

And he said the people in that constituency "have spoken for all of Scotland and sent a message to two failing governments".

Sarwar said: "They want an end to the incompetence; an end to the chaos; an end to the division; an end to the politics which pits community against community, pits Scot against Scot and puts the status quo before change.

"They voted for change and they voted for a party that will give its future back".

Labour achieved a vote swing of more than 20 per cent to make modern studies teacher Michael Shanks Scotland's newest MP.

Sarwar said the victory was "years in the making" and that while "opponents laughed" in 2022 when he said the route to a Labour UK Government "ran through Scotland", those people "aren't laughing any more".

Praising Keir Starmer, the leader of Scottish Labour said his party is now "being seen as a force that will finally rid our whole country of this rotten, lying, out of touch, corrupt, far-right crankfest, conspiracy theorist-ridden Tory government".

And he accused both the Conservatives and the SNP of "thinking politics is a game". 

In a message to SNP leader Humza Yousaf, he said: "This isn't about swings and polls, this is about putting the people of Scotland first. And because you won't do that Labour can now beat the SNP across Scotland."

And, in an appeal to 2014 independence supporters, he said: "To people who voted for other parties or who even voted Yes in the past but who are now looking at Labour, I understand your frustration. I understand why you are desperate for change. I understand why you have wanted to run a million miles away from this morally bankrupt Tory government.

"But I believe that we can work together to boot them out of Downing Street, because the next general election is an opportunity for change."

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