Sarah Boyack the Lothians MSP
Sarah Boyack the Lothians MSP

Lothians MSP Sarah Boyack has announced that she is a candidate in the contest for Scottish Labour leader. She is the first to enter the race but any other candidates have until Friday to declare their nomination. We listed all the potential Edinburgh candidates here at the weekend. 

Boyack has been an MSP for Lothians since 2011, but previously held the position of MSP for the City Centre constituency.  Born in Glasgow and a graduate of Glasgow University she has a background in town and country planning

(PHOTO Jon Davey Photography) 

Ms Boyack has issued the following statement:

It’s time for a proper debate

This leadership election is our chance to debate how we move our party forward.

We need to reach out not just to those who have traditionally supported us but to build a coalition to tackle social and environmental injustice and to create a more equal, prosperous economy that works for people.

The referendum mobilised people to get involved in the debate about our future and we need to build on that energy.

Across the country there were thousands of meetings bringing people together to discuss how we could improve people’s lives.   To deliver on those ambitions we need to move the political debate onto how we use power.

The Scottish Parliament is already a powerhouse Parliament and more powers are on the way – we need to make sure that power is used in the interests of the people of Scotland.

Our mission must be to deliver social, environmental and economic justice.

Our membership must play a full part in that mission.  We need to get out and engage with our communities.

In the next 18 months we face two electoral tests – to return Labour Governments to power in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments.   We need to bring people with us and mobilise support across the country.

These will be watershed elections.  This leadership election will set the tone for those contests.  It is our chance to restate our ambitions for Scotland.   It’s also the chance to rebuild our bonds with the labour movement in Scotland.  It’s our chance to reconnect the Labour Party with communities across the country.

To seize that opportunity – we need work as Team Labour.   As a member of Donald
Dewar’s first cabinet, as joint author of the Review of Scottish Labour and as a member of Labour’s Devolution Commission I have the experience to lead.  The party now needs to move forward together.


The SNP MSP Marco Biagi (who of course will not be allowed to vote for the new Scottish Labour leader….) expressed his view of the first Scottish Labour candidate on Twitter:

It’s strange when you see the person you defeated in 2011 running for their party’s leadership three years later.

— Marco Biagi (@MarcoBiagiMSP) October 28, 2014