Anas Sarwar wins Scottish
Labour leadership race


GLASGOW: Anas Sarwar has been announced as the new Scottish Labour leader.Glasgow MSP Mr Sarwar defeated Monica Lennon, the only other candidate in the race.

The contest was triggered after Richard Leonard resigned as leader, saying it was in the best interests of the party for him to stand down.

Anas Sarwar

Mr Sarwar takes charge of the party ahead of the Scottish Parliament election, which is scheduled to be held on 6 May.

Mr Sarwar, who is the first minority ethnic leader of a major political party in the UK, got 57.6% of the vote, while Ms Lennon got 42.4%.

In his acceptance speech, he 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.”

Anas Sarwar has continued a family tradition in political precedent setting by becoming the UK’s first Muslim to lead a party.

Sarwar’s father, Mohammed, was the first Muslim MP, elected to Glasgow Central in 1997, before going on to be governor of the Punjab region in his native Pakistan.

Now, the younger Sarwar has been elected to lead Scottish Labour, beating fellow MSP Monica Lennon by 57.6% to 42.4%.

Born in Glasgow in 1983, Sarwar remembers his first political memory being a threat made against his mother.

The Glasgow MSP recalled opening a hand-delivered envelope at his childhood home in 1997 to see a mocked-up picture of his mother with a gun to her head, saying: “Bang, bang, that’s all it takes.”