Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard shares his Christmas message.

He writes: “Scotland has not had a Christmas set against the backdrop of such tragic human loss, suffering and sacrifice since the Second World War. My deepest condolences go out to all of those who have lost a loved one, a family member or friend, during this most difficult year.page2image18604288

“And we say thank you to all those key workers in our National Health Service and care services, the shop workers, people in transport, and so many more who have kept the country going in these most difficult times.

“We also stand with all those who have lost their job, their business, their income and some even their home, during the last nine months of Covid.

“Too many children across Scotland are going to bed every night in poverty.

“Too many pensioners are struggling to make ends meet, to afford the basic human rights to heating, food and shelter.

“Too many people are in debt and are at breaking point.

“All these parts of our society have been let down by over a decade of Tory and yes, SNP austerity and cuts which have squeezed further their living standards, and which have left our public services ill-equipped to cope with the pandemic.

“But there is an alternative.

“It’s that of a society based on the values of solidarity where we properly fund the public services that we all need, where we give generous support to the most vulnerable, and where public and private sector workers are paid at the very least a ‘real living wage’. It’s a society where we look outward not inward.

“Where we see hope in place of fear, communities coming together, and families reunited

“Those values of solidarity offer us the chance of a better future during this most difficult of Christmases.

“I send my seasonal greetings to you all.”

Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard MSP Photo: Martin P. McAdam