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Anas Sarwar becomes new Scottish Labour leader – 10 weeks before Holyrood elections

Written by on 27/02/2021

Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar has been elected as Scottish Labour’s new leader – just 10 weeks before the Holyrood elections.

The party was forced to vote for a new leader after Richard Leonard’s shock resignation in January, claiming his decision was in the “best interests” of the party.

Mr Sarwar was quick to throw his hat into the ring, followed by Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon.

The Glasgow MSP won the vote with 57.56% while Ms Lennon took 42.4%.

Mr Sarwar is the first ethnic minority leader of a political party in the UK after his grandparents emigrated to Scotland from Pakistan.

He said it was the “greatest honour of his life” to be elected leader but said he knows Labour “has a lot of work to do to win back your trust”.

“Because if we’re brutally honest, you haven’t had the Scottish Labour Party you deserve,” he said.

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“With rising injustice, inequality and division, I’m sorry we haven’t been good enough.”

He promised to work “day and night to change that”.

Mr Sarwar said it was “in my blood” to bring about change, saying that his grandfather came to Lossiemouth 75 years ago “with nothing, searching for a better future”.

He said his grandfather found that and instead of returning to Pakistan, which he was meant to do, he brought his family to Scotland.

“He would never have imaged that his grandson would one day be elected to lead the Labour movement in Scotland,” Mr Sarwar said.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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