Labour leadership contest
Sarwar and Leonard go head to head
Anas Sarwar: ‘ready to unite the party’
Anas Sarwar will take on Richard Leonard for the leadership of Scottish Labour.
Mr Sarwar said he will aim to unite the party around a shared vision for the future, taking the fight to the SNP and the Tories.
His campaign will be co-chaired by Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill and East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield.
Mr Sarwar said: “This is an election that nobody wanted or expected, and I would once again like to pay tribute to Kezia Dugdale for her dedicated service.
“Labour is revitalised in Scotland and I am ready to unite our party and lead us back to power.
“The people of Scotland do not need a Labour Party that is fighting itself. They need a united Labour Party in Holyrood that is fighting the SNP and ready to form Scotland’s next government.
“And they need a united Labour Party across the UK working together to elect Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
“I am delighted that Pauline McNeill and Martin Whitfield have agreed to co-chair my campaign and I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have urged me to stand.
“Over the coming weeks I will set out my positive vision for Scotland’s future, rooted firmly in Labour’s values.”
Mr Leonard, a former trade union official, declared his candidacy over the weekend.
Update 5 Sept: Mr Sarwar received backing for his campaign from 14 parliamentarians.
The list includes half of all Labour MSPs, the chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group, Mary Fee, the chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party at Westminster, Ian Murray, former leader Iain Gray and MEP Catherine Stihler.