Anas Sarwar MSP for Glasgow has been elected new leader of Scottish Labour, winning 57.56% of the votes in the contest against fellow MSP, Monica Lennon.

Mr Sarwar 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 haven’t had the Scottish Labour Party you deserve – with rising injustice, inequality and division, I’m sorry we haven’t been good enough.” 

Mr Sarwar is the first minority ethnic leader of a major political party in the UK.  

He said: “That doesn’t say something about me. That says something great about Scotland and its people.” 

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “I want to say directly to the people of Scotland, I know 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. 

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

“And I will work day and night to change that, so we can build the country we all need.” 

He added: “Today we have elected the first ever ethnic minority leader of a political party in the UK. 

“That doesn’t say something about me. That says something great about Scotland and its people. 

“But the fight for equality is far from over. 

“And I’ll work with all our diverse communities in Scotland to rebuild the country we love.” 

Mr Sarwar concluded: “I’m determined that the Labour Party I lead will always be on your side. 

“Because I will be a leader who focuses on what unites our country – not what divides it. 

“And together we will build a better future for Scotland.” 

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “Huge congratulations to Anas on his election as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. I look forward to working with him to secure our economy, protect our NHS and rebuild our country.”
“We will fight the Scottish Parliamentary elections by making the case for a socially just Scotland in a modern United Kingdom. Under his leadership, Scottish Labour will focus on what unites us – not what divides us.
“I know Anas will do the hard work that is necessary to win back the trust of the Scottish people and build for the future as we emerge from this pandemic.“