Anas Sarwar has won the Scottish Labor leadership competition after an early election sparked by Richard Leonard’s surprise resignation six weeks ago

Sarwar, a former Scottish Labor vice chairman who was backed by a majority of the party’s parliamentarians, defeated fellow candidate Monica Lennon, a less experienced MSP backed by the party’s left, and won 576% of the Voices

Sarwar, MSP for Glasgow, is the first ethnic leader of a major political party in Britain

He said the party under his leadership will “focus on what unites our country – not what divides it”

In his acceptance speech he also promised to be “brutally honest” with the people of Scotland

He said, “You didn’t have the Scottish Labor Party you deserve – as injustice, inequality and division rise, I am sorry we weren’t good enough

“I would like to say directly to the people of Scotland that Labor has a lot to do to regain your trust because if we’re brutally honest you haven’t had the Scottish Labor Party you deserve”

He added: “Today we elected the first leader of a political party in Britain

“That says nothing about me This says something great about Scotland and its people. But the fight for equality is far from over

“And I will be working with all of our different communities in Scotland to rebuild the land we love”

UK Labor Leader Keir Starmer said: “Congratulations to Anas on his election as chairman of the Scottish Labor Party, I look forward to working with him to secure our economy, protect our NHS and rebuild our country

“We will fight the Scottish general election by working for a socially just Scotland in a modern UK. Under his leadership, Scottish Labor will focus on what unites us – not what divides us.” >

“I know Anas will do the hard work necessary to regain the trust of the Scottish people and build it for the future as we emerge from this pandemic”

I will be doing politics another day but today I can congratulate @AnasSarwar for becoming @scottishlabour leader – think this makes him the first & Muslim Person of Color to lead a political party in the UK, an incredible historic achievement by & that I’m proud of for Well Done Anas 👏

Leonard tweeted: “Congratulations to @AnasSarwar on his victory He has a clear mandate from the membership to lead the SLP We must all get behind him solidarity”

Sarwar, 37, faces an uphill battle to save Labor from what polls suggest could be another humiliating Holyrood election in May

After Labor lost all elections in Scotland and Great Britain to the SNP since 2007, including losing all MPs in the 2016 European elections, Labor has gone through seven Scottish leaders since Sarwar will be its eighth

Leonard has been one of the longest-serving since decentralization, but suddenly resigned after deciding that he could not successfully lead the party to another election

The polls show Labor is in third place behind the Scottish National Party, headed for a comfortable victory and possibly a majority of the seats in Holyrood, and the Scottish Conservatives

The latest Ipsos Mori poll, conducted for STV last week, found Labor scored 15% in constituency elections, 52% in SNP and 23% in Tories

Although Sarwar has been a MP and MSP for 10 years for the past 11 years, and is the son of Britain’s first Muslim MP, Mohammad Sarwar, the poll found that the majority of voters were ambivalent about him

It found that 44% of all respondents had no opinion on whether he or Lennon would be the best Scottish Labor leader, while 28% thought he was and 25% preferred Lennon among the labor voters, 40% thought he would be the best and 35% would choose Lennon

Lennon, a former council planner, received praise and international recognition last year for passing a private membership bill through Holyrood that made Scotland the first country in the world to offer leisure products / p>

This led Vogue magazine to make her one of 12 women who changed the world in 2020, alongside Kamala Harris, the US Vice President, and Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister

Anas Sarwar

World News – UK – Anas Sarwar wins Scottish Labor leadership election