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14 September 2020
No confidence motion in Richard Leonard withdrawn


No confidence motion in Richard Leonard withdrawn

A motion of no confidence in the Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has been withdrawn.

Leonard was expected to face a call for him to stand down as leader during a party meeting on Saturday.

He said it was now time for the party to come together and called for an “end to the internal plotting”.

The motion had been submitted by four Labour MSPs, who were joined in public calls for his resignation by other Labour figures.

Speaking after the meeting of the party’s ruling Scottish Executive Committee, Leonard said: “It’s time for Scottish Labour to stand together and to stand with the Scottish people at a time when risks caused by the pandemic are rising again and when the economy is on the edge of a deep recession with jobs in peril.

“There must be an end to the internal plotting and we must unite to hold the Scottish government to account and to offer a real alternative.

"I firmly believe that I am the best person to lead us into next year's elections with a plan for jobs and real economic and social transformation which I know is shared by Keir Starmer.

"I have listened to the concerns expressed about me, I will treat those with respect and humility, and I will fight with every ounce of my being to improve the fortunes of the party in the run up to next year's election."

Leonard had been facing calls to resign in previous weeks, after Labour MSPs James Kelly, Jenny Marra, Daniel Johnson and Mark Griffin publicly called on him to stand down.

Kelly and Griffin resigned from the shadow cabinet, citing the party’s poor performance in opinion polls ahead of the Scottish election.

The party is trailing far behind the SNP and Scottish Conservatives in opinion polls for the May 2021 election.

Labour is currently the third largest party in the Scottish Parliament with 23 MSPs.

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